Chef Tim Says..

Waist and Hip Measurements

Calculate your WHR

To measure your waist and hip circumferences:

Use a tape measure to check your waist circumference by measuring the distance around your waist just above the belly button.

Use a tape measure to check your hip circumference by measuring the distance around the largest area of your hips at the widest part of the buttocks.

Enter your waist and hip circumferences and click on “Calculate WHR.”

Enter your waist size in inches:
Enter your hip size in inches:
Yourwaist-to-hip ratio is:

The Centers forDisease Control (CDC) considers the following WHR to be safe: for men,a ratio <0.90;for women, a ratio<0.80.

Please note: WHR is not considered to be as valid for children, people who are under five feet tall or who have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or above.

There are a number of factors that can help you estimate your risk for health problems like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.

There are some risks that you can’t change, like family history or gender. Lifestyle issues like exercise and diet are the factors that you have the most control over, and one factor in understanding your risk is not just in what you weigh. One indirect measure that is used is the Body Mass Index. This calculation is widely used in research and while it is not perfect it does work as one predictor of risk for illness.

Another measurement is the Waist to Hip Ratio or WHR. This is calculated by dividing the measurement around your waist by the measurement around your hips. If the result is over 1.0 you would be considered to be at higher risk for heart disease and other health problems. Researchers have called having a high WHR the “apple” shape because weight is centered in the abdomen. People who are apple shaped are at higher risk than those with their weight centered in their hips (also known as “pear” shaped).

Numerous studies have shown that high WHR to be an accurate predictor of such illness. Because it is possible to have a Body Mass Index that is high, but still be athletic and healthy, using the WHR can help clarify whether the extra weight is unhealthy or not.

The calculator below can help you calculate your WHR and compare it with the results of research on risk of disease.

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