Hip to waist ratio

Waist away!

The Hip to waist is an additional tool to judge the potential health risk of excess body fat and is used by medical practitioners in conjunction with other measurements to identify health risk factors.

This is not just about being overweight, so before anyone with a BMI of 25 or under gets complacent, we need to remember that a person can still have what appears to be a bit of a spare tyre and still be the right weight for their height.  This is why the BMI indicator should not be solely used for governing a persons general health risk to certain conditions affected by weight.

Having a BMI over 25 doesn’t necessarily mean you are overweight, or at least perhaps not as overweight as we might think. Someone with a lot of muscle may have a high BMI as muscle is heavy, but they won’t look or feel overweight.    

If you are a muffin top or have a large waistband overhang then you are overweight!  Your eyes will tell you the truth, unfortunately.  

It’s where the excess weight is carried that is more important.  Having excess abdominal fat poses more of a health risk than having a fat bottom or chunky thighs.   It’s the actual shape you are in that matters.  Eating less and exercising more is the most effective way of controlling your shape.

Hip/waist ratio is a more reliable way of determining whether your ‘fat bits’ pose any potential risk to your health and in particular to your heart health.  Having a waist of over 40” for a man and over35” for a woman should be a warning.  

The way to calculate it is to measure your waist (above your navel) and your hips (around your buttocks) and divide the waist measurement into the hip measurement.

In Get Slim,Get Healthy when you record a weigh-in and enter your waist and hip measurements at the same time, the system will automatically calculate your ratio and show the result on your summary page.

Ideally, the final figure should be less than 0.80 for a woman and 0.95 for a man.  

If your final figure is too high then losing weight if you are overweight will bring it down.  If you are the right weight abdominal toning should shrink the inches.

Which body shape is worse an apple or a pear?

Apples carry extra weight around the abdominal area.

Pears carry it around their hips and thighs.

Too much weight in any place isn’t what you want of course but being an apple indicates more potential health problems than being a pear with a big bum as the excess fat is carried closure to the vital organs increasing the potential health risk.