Waist to Height ratio: A better predictor of obesity and cardiovascular related health conditions

For a long time, BMI or Body Mass Index, which is the ratio of one’s mass to one’s height, has been considered a screening indicator for obesity.  Generally a BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight.  However BMI can be misleading.  For example, BMI does not take in account muscle mass and so muscular people might be considered obese.  In addition,  BMI does not reflect the ill health effects of high amounts of belly fat.    Thus people with a “normal” BMI,  but who carry a lot of fat around their waists are actually at an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular related conditions.

Now, a new review suggests that a simple measurement — the ratio of one’s waist circumference to height — is significantly better at gauging cardio-metabolic risk than body mass index and waist circumference, two common measures.  See  Better Than BMI? Study Promotes Alternate Measure – US Mag – The 

Once you take the height and waist measurements, the assessment is simple.  If your waist is less than half of your height than you are not at risk for cardiovascular disease.   If your waist is greater than half of your height, then you at are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and related conditions.   So, if your height is 68 inches, an ideal waist size should be 34 inches or less and anything greater than 34 inches would put unhealthy.

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About Aroop Banerji N.D., L.Ac

Aroop Banerji N.D.., L.Ac is a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist. He obtained his bachelor science in Environmental Toxicology from the University of California – Davis. He pursued doctoral education in Naturopathic Medicine and graduate level training in Chinese Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. He specializes in using dietary supplements, diet therapies, herbal medicines, and acupuncture for chronic health complaints.
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