Boo the BMI. Cheer the WHtR

I would be surprised if any reader has not heard of Body Mass Index (BMI) and it’s near universal use as a gage of health. BMI has long been useless for persons with very low body fat like bodybuilders and not very predictive of health in normal folks.  More recently, BMI is being replaced with a ratio of measurements: Weight to Height (WHtR).  It is possible to have a normal BMI but a WHtR that exceeds the generally accepted target of 0.5.  Newer research shows WHtR is more predictive than BMI in identifying early risk of developing diabetes (insulin resistance!), heart disease or stroke.

The Diet Calculator, Body Fat Calculator website offers a nice calculator for several measurements.   The important thing about these measurements is seeing a downward trend over time.  Focus on the snapshot assessment these values provide initially and how, over time, you can track improvements.  These measurements are easy to determine so why not check?  You will need the following to use the calculator (US or metric)

Height – measured without shoes

Weight – taken in the morning without clothes after going to the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything

Waist (Men) – measure horizontally, at the level of the navel

Waist (Women) – measure horizontally, at the level of minimal abdominal width

Neck – measure below the larynx with the tape sloping slightly downward to the front.

Hips (Women only) – Largest horizontal circumference around the hips

Additional reading:

The Ketogenic Diet as a Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

Waist-to-height ratio as an indicator of ‘early health risk’: simpler and more predictive than using a ‘matrix’ based on BMI and waist circumference

A novel cutoff for the waist-to-height ratio predicting metabolic syndrome in young American adults

waist-height-ratio-illustration

More to come…..

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