Your waist to hip ratio is an important tool that helps you determine your overall health risk. People with more weight around their waist are at greater risk of lifestyle related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes than those with weight around their hips. It is a simple and useful measure of fat distribution.
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is one of several measurements your doctor can use to see if you’re overweight, and if that excess weight is putting your health at risk. Unlike your body mass index (BMI), which calculates the ratio of your weight to your height, WHR measures the ratio of your waist circumference to your hip circumference. It determines how much fat is stored on your waist, hips, and buttocks.
Not all excess weight is the same when it comes to your health risks. People who carry more weight around their midsection (an apple-shaped body) are at higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature death than those who carry more of their weight in their hips and thighs (a pear-shaped body). Even if your BMI is within a normal range, your risk for disease may be increased.
Ways to calculate your waist-to-hip ratio
1.) Stand up straight and breathe out. Use a tape measure to check the distance around the smallest part of your waist, just above your belly button. This is your waist circumference.
2.) Then measure the distance around the largest part of your hips — the widest part of your buttocks. This is your hip circumference.
3.) Calculate your WHR by dividing your waist circumference by your hip circumference.