‘Maintaining your waist circumference to less than half your height can help increase your life expectancy.’
A man who is 6ft tall (183 cm), should maintain his waist under 36 inches (91 cm), and a woman who is 5ft 4’ or 64 inches tall (163 cm), should maintain her waist measurement under 32 inches (81 cm).
BMI is used as a measure of obesity. It is a ratio of a person’s weight in kilos to the square of their height in metres. However, it does not take into account the distribution of fat around the body. Abdominal fat affects organs like the heart, liver and kidneys more adversely than fat around the hips and bottom, in terms of cardiometabolic risk.
The idea of using Waist to Height Ratio (WHtR) to predict cardiometabolic risk is not new, but is coming to prominence as more studies reveal its value.
Study leader Dr. Ashwell presented the findings of a study that analysed the health of 3 lac people and found that Waist to Height Ratio was better able to predict heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes than BMI.
Besides its accuracy, the waist to height ratio is has an advantage of its simplicity for understanding and calculation over BMI where you need to work out the ratio of your weight in kilos to the square of your height in metres.
As per WHO, to measure the waist circumference accurately, you should measure it mid-way between the lower rib and the iliac crest (the top of the pelvic bone at the hip).
Being underweight, overweight or obese brings with it a lot of health risks and medical complications. Considering the high cost of medical treatments in healthcare centres, it is always advisable to prevent health risks and stay healthy.