|Photo by Quinn Dombrowski.|
Waiste-Hip Ratio (WHR) is one of the most straightforward biomarkers.
Basically, if you are shaped like a pear, you're OK. But if you are shaped like an apple, you're in trouble.
[This post is part of a series on biomarkers of health and longevity.]
According to a Harvard Medical School post summarizing the research on WHR, women have an increased risk of serious health problems if their waist is 40 inches or more.
Men have an increased risk if their waist is 35 inches or more.
Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico cites research that lowers the threshold or risk by several inches:
"A waist circumference >35 inches (88 cm) in women and >40 inches (102 cm) in men is associated with higher cardiometabolic risk (Ness-Abramof and Apovian, 2008)."
Arguing over a few inches is probably not worth the time spent away from the gym.
Note: This post is to raise awareness only. It does not offer medical advice. If you have concerns about your weight, please see a licensed medical professional.
If you already own a measuring tape, you have a cheap and easy method for assessing your health risks. No co-pays or lab fees are necessary for this biomarker!
There several online calculators that walk you through this Waist-to-Hip Ratio process. Here's just one.
1. Measure the circumference of your waist. (Mine measures 28 inches.)
2. Measure the circumference of your hips. (Mine measure 34 inches.)
3. Divide waist by hips or W/H (i.e., 28/34)
4. Round up to the nearest 100th of a decimal point. (.74).
5. Consult a chart.
For example, the Visual MD entry for Waist-Hip Ratio states that "a healthy WHR is 0.90 or less for men, and 0.80 or less for women." I like this chart because it's simple and interactive.
By looking at my WHR and comparing it to the above Visual MD chard, I fear that my ratio might get out of control. With just a little inactivity and a few too many baked goods, my WHR might climb from .74 up to the danger zone of .80 during the upcoming holiday season.
Adopting a new fitness regime might be in order.
Maybe I'll take up belly dancing?
|Photo by David McSpadden.|
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