Waist to Height Ratio is a better predictor of heart disease and diabetes risk than body mass index (BMI), according to new research.
British scientists analysed a team of 300,000 people, and found that Waist to Height Ratio is more effective at predicting high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
Measure your Waist to Height Ratio for your risk of diabetes and heart problems
The idea of using Waist to Height Ratio (WHtR) to predict cardiometabolic is not new, but is coming to prominence as more studies reveal its value.
Whilst BMI is commonly used in the medical industry, people tend to be unfamiliar with it because it is not a straightforward calculation. BMI is calculated by taking one’s mass in kilograms and dividing it by the square of one’s height in metres.
BMI fails to take into account the distribution of fat throughout the body, while Waist to Height Ratio does. Abdominal fat, around the heart, liver and kidneys has been found to be worse than that on the bottom and hips in terms of heart disease and diabetes.
Dr Margaret Ashwell, former science director of the British Nutrition Foundation, and now an independent consultant, said:
"Keeping your waist circumference to less than half your height can help increase life expectancy for every person in the world.”
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). This is the method recommended by the World Health Organization.
The researchers say that a 6ft (72 inch) tall man should aim to keep his waist less than 36 inches, and a 5ft 4in (64 inch) woman should aim to keep hers under 32 inches.
Dr Margaret Ashwell is presenting the research at the European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France, on Saturday.
If you want to receive regular health checks then look for a health insurance policy with discounted health screenings.
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