What is Waist Hip Ratio and Why is it Used?
The waist-hip ratio is used to determine levels of risks for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and is based on your body shape rather than on your body fat percentage.
This is especially useful for athletes, since they often show a risky Body Mass Index (BMI) -- which is due to the failure of the BMI calculation to account for muscle mass.
How to Calculate WHR
WHR is calculated by dividing the narrowest distance around your abdomen by the widest distance around your hips and buttocks area.
The following waist-to-hip ratio chart shows the widely accepted health risk levels associated with various ratios.
|Low||WHR of 0.80 or below||WHR of 0.95 or below|
|Moderate||WHR of 0.81 to .085||WHR of 0.96 to 1.0|
|High||WHR of 0.85 or greater||WHR of 1.0 or greater|
How to Calculate Your Body Type
If your waist measurement is greater than or equal to your hip measurement (WHR >= 1), your body is said to be apple shaped -- meaning that you tend to store most of your body fat on your waist.
If your hip measurement is greater than your waist measurement (WHR < 1), your body is said to be pear shaped -- meaning that you tend to store most of your body fat on your hips and buttocks.
Pear Shaped Vs Apple Shaped
As a rule of thumb, people with apple-shaped bodies can have a 2 to 4 times greater risk for heart disease than those with pear-shaped bodies.
However, if it turns out that you have an apple-shaped body, then there is at least one bit of good news.
People with apple-shaped bodies typically lose weight proportionately, whereas people with pear-shaped bodies tend to lose weight only in their upper bodies.