Figuring out what is our perfect weight is not easy. Some of us are blessed with a body type which always looks thin, and the rest of us look plump even if we are not really overweight. Scientists lead by Dr. Margaret Ashwell, former science director of the British Nutrition Foundation, now say that the best way to know if we are overweight and in danger of heart disease and diabetes is by monitoring our waist to height ratio.
What about Body Mass Index?
Body Mass Index or BMA is a most commonly used obesity measure. BMA is a ratio of your weight in kilos to the square of your height in meters. The problem with this measure is that we are not all shaped the same and our fat is not distributed in the same places.
Using Waist to Height Ratio to measure obesity is not new, but many new studies are proving that it is more reliable measure of our danger of obesity-related diseases than BMI. The reason for this is that abdominal fat affects heart, liver and other organs more than fat around the bum or hips. In short, it is better to be pear-shaped than apple-shaped.
What is our perfect Waist to Height Ratio?
You are doing well if your waist is less than half of your height. So, if you are five feet four inches tall, or 64 inches, your waist should be under 32 inches.
Dr. Ashwell”s study, which came up with this guidance, has been conducted on 300,000 people. The study found that the waist-to-height ratio is much better in predicting diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attach than Body Mass Index. It is interesting that the World Health Organization is also using Waist-to-height ratio to measure obesity.
Another good news with this new study is that this is actually easy to do ” “ it is just one figure we have to keep in mind. Calculating BMI requires some math skills which not all of us possess. The best place to measure your waist is half-way between the lower rib and the top of the pelvic bone, or wherever you are the narrowest.