The BMI (body mass index) ratio has long been used to measure the health of people, many are now saying a more accurate method should be height to waist.
Unfortunately the simple formula of using height and weight to calculate the BMI (weight divided by height squared), can class people as fat if they have high bone or muscle densities.
An athlete who has a large amount of muscle mass could be classed as obese when clearly that is not the case, you cannot say Rockie or Arnie in their heyday were obese can you? This formula would have put them way over the limit.
There Is A More Simple Method Of Measuring Fat
This method seems too simple to be true as too much body fat can have many long term effects, including high blood pressure, diabetes etc.
The following article cites some research by Oxford University and suggests a much simpler approach;
|It turns out that waist-to-height ratio is the best predictor for whether or not a person will develop not only type two diabetes, but also a variety of other conditions and diseases including respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and even some cancers.Body mass index looks at overall weight versus height in a percentage.
This has always left out the variable of muscle mass, which can really affect a person’s actual predisposition for developing a disease.
Waist to height ratio is much more accurate, according to the Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom.
A high ratio has been shown, after the results of more than 30 studies were released, to be a high indicator of problems, whereas having a low ratio of waist circumference compared to height was not.
Height To Waist Ratios For Adults
As a rule of thumb the formula is that if your waist is more than half your height then you are fat. For women in particular you need to be in the 42 to 49% of height range to be healthy, just under half.
Men have a bit more leeway probably due to bigger body structures 43 to 53% of height.
To work out your waist to height ratio, measure around the waist at the height of your belly button then divide it by your height measurement.
We often hear stories about health pandemics but one wonders how National Stats can be slewed if Health Agencies are using BMI as their basis instead of a simple height to waist formula.