A Better Way to Assess Body Fat and Health Risk? – Test

16

Waist-to-Height Ratio May Predict Health Risks More Accurately Than BMI

By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

May 11, 2012 — BMI’s days as a top way to measure body fat and associated health risks may be numbered.

New research presented at the 19th European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France, suggests that the better way to know where you stand concerning health risks related to your amount of body fat is your waist-to-height ratio.

BMI, or body mass index, is based on height and weight. It can help determine if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese, but it has its limitations. For example, BMI doesn’t consider muscle mass, so a very muscular person’s BMI might incorrectly indicate obesity. You also need a calculator to determine your BMI. All you typically need is a tape measure to find out your waist-to-height ratio.

Researchers reviewed 31 studies of more than 300,000 men and women. They found that waist-to-height ratio was more accurate than BMI and than waist circumference alone at predicting certain health risks associated with being overweight or obese, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

In a related report presented at the same conference, researchers from the Cass Business School of City University in London, England, reported that a 30-year-old nonsmoking man would have a reduced life expectancy by as much as 14% if his waist circumference is more than half of his height.

“Keeping your waist circumference to less than half your height can help increase life expectancy for every person in the world,” ?says researcher Margaret Ashwell, PhD, of Ashwell Associates, in Hertfordshire, England.

Calling waist-to-height ratio a “one-size-fits-all approach,” Ashwell says that it should replace BMI and waist circumference alone as a way to assess body fat and health risks everywhere.

U.S. Experts Are on Board

The findings are music to one expert’s ears. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, is a WebMD lifestyle expert and the founder of the Peeke Performance Center in Rockville, Md.

“Buh-bye BMI,” she says. “I have been saying this forever.”

“Take out your tape measure, and really pay attention to your waist and waist-to-height ratio,” she says. “This is the way to go, and it puts you in touch with your body.” The best way to measure your waist is to place the tape measure at belly button level, she says.

Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, agrees that BMI may be on its way out. He is the director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C.

The new study suggests that waist-to-height ratio is better than BMI. “The really good news is that it is real cheap and relatively easy to measure height and waist circumference.”

But, he says, more research is needed to show us how to act on this information.

SOURCES: Margaret Ashwell, PhD, Ashwell Associates, Hertfordshire, England. Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, director, National Center for Weight and Wellness, Washington, D.C. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, founder, Peeke Performance Center, Rockville, Md. 19th European Congress on Obesity, Lyon, France, May 9-12, 2012.

©2012 WebMD, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

16 Comments
  1. Benedict Judon says

    Making money online is getting harder and harder but with this little known trick you can start earning almost immediately. This actually works I have tried and tested the method myself and after 20 years as an internet marketer little golden nuggets like this are hard to find. Watch this short video to learn more and start earning today. http://bit.ly/-Work-from-Home

  2. Odell says

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for website

  3. Darnell says

    Thanks very nice blog!

  4. Olivia says

    It’s very trouble-free to find out any topic on net as compared to
    books, as I found this paragraph at this web site.

  5. Jacinto says

    Remarkable! Its genuinely awesome piece of writing, I have got
    much clear idea regarding from this article.

  6. Jesenia says

    This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something which helped me.
    Appreciate it!

  7. Linnie says

    Admiring the time and energy you put into your website and in depth information you provide.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that
    isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Fantastic
    read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  8. Kandis says

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re simply too magnificent.
    I really like what you have bought here, certainly like what you’re stating and
    the way in which during which you are saying it. You make
    it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay it smart.
    I can’t wait to read much more from you. That is really a terrific
    website.

  9. Bruno says

    I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found
    any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough
    for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did,
    the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  10. Helene says

    Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your next write ups thanks once again.

  11. Smithc280 says

    Excellently written writeup, doubts all bloggers offered the same content material because you, the internet is actually a greater location. Please maintain it up! acgdedffdgeddcfc

  12. Smithe159 says

    Some truly select blog posts on this web site , saved to fav. cgagkeebedffgbdd

  13. Smithg744 says

    Great blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also gdakdcfdbbbdcdkf

  14. Marguerite says

    Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to
    say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it!
    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  15. kyrie 4 says

    I want to show my love for your kind-heartedness supporting folks that need help on that theme. Your special commitment to passing the message throughout ended up being really functional and have specifically allowed associates just like me to get to their pursuits. Your amazing helpful guideline denotes a whole lot a person like me and even more to my fellow workers. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  16. nike air max 2017 says

    Thank you a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally special possiblity to read from this site. It is often so beneficial plus packed with a good time for me and my office co-workers to search your blog at minimum thrice in 7 days to learn the new tips you will have. And lastly, I am just always pleased with your surprising techniques served by you. Some two areas in this article are really the most beneficial I’ve had.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.