Weight alone doesn’t necessarily tell us the health of the individual.
The scales are most people’s go-to for accountability when wanting to monitor weight loss and weight maintenance. When weighing, the number on the scales measures the total combination of muscle, bone, fat, organs, and lean tissue that the body is made up of.
BMI or Body Mass Index has also been used as a formula. Your weight in kilos is divided by your height in metres squared. It’s a complicated calculation for most people. The biggest problem with BMI is it does not make allowances for people who have a high muscle to fat ratio (muscle is denser than fat) especially athletic males. BMI also ignores the distribution of fat around your body in particular excess abdominal fat.
Internal abdominal fat or visceral fat accumulates between internal organs and the torso and is a health risk. Excess visceral fat is directly linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.
People with more fat around the bottom and hip areas are considered less of a health risk. “Metabolically healthy” means you have good blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels.
That’s where “Waist-to-Height” ratio has become a better measure. It is a simple and easy way for anyone to measure and then interpret the result.
Waist to Height Ratio = Waist circumference / Height
All you need is a tape measure. Measure your waist (in cms). The natural waist is the smallest circumference of the waist, normally just above the belly button. If you don’t know your height then measure your height (in cms). If you don’t have access to a tape measure, use a long piece of string.
Divide your waist by your height to get a percentage.
* If your waist is 75cms and your height is 170cms then your W/H Ratio is 44% which places you in the ideal range.
* If your waist is 85cms and your height is 170cms then your W/H Ratio is 50% which puts you in the group that should consider taking action to reduce weight, and hopefully your waistline will decrease.
Obviously if your ratio is 50% or over then you should take some action to reduce your weight and improve your health. You may also seek medical advice if you need some extra assurance and help.
A healthy waist to height ratio is less than 50% which indicates lower health risks.
Ensuring your waist measurement is less than half your height will keep you at your best health. The way to achieve that is with an eating plan that’s tailored for your body and your lifestyle, plus the accountability to make the change happen, and help you stick with it.
Measure yourself today and record both measurements as well as your ratio. Doing this again every 3 months, is an easy-to-do personal health check.
If you find you are at 50% or above, you may want to start a structured eating program. The Healthy Inspirations programs help people reduce the size of their tummy and waist area.
Fill out your details below if this is you. You will be amazed at how quickly you will be able to reduce your waist size and increase your health.
Here’s an easy way to calculate your waist to height ratio.