Monday, August 11, 2008

Waist to Hips Ratio - a better health measure

So I've ranted here about how I really dislike the Body Mass Index (BMI) as if you're muscular you will appear overweight. It's an easy bet that many Olympic athletes in Beijing right now would be considered overweight. An example being those gorgeous male gymnasts I was watching yesterday who are relatively short, but have arms larger than my thighs. Even many of the American Gladiators would be considered overweight or even obese which is a hilarious thought.

So I was thrilled to hear of more recent (recent being relative - it's not that new) research that indicates that fat around the belly ("apple" shaped rather than "pear" shaped) is a good indicator of health risk. There is now the concept of Waist to Hips Ratio (WTHR - ref1, ref2). Simply divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. Women with a ratio of .8, or men with .95 are at what is considered low risk (ref.)

I like this measure. It's a lot less ephemeral of a concept. Fat around the internal organs is a credible threat (an older but surprising good USA today ref)

I'm right at .8, but just barely so I'd like to take another inch off or so.

No comments: