DR. NATASHA TURNER ND'S BLOG

Are You Healthy? Your Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Posted March 20, 2012

Abdominal fat fuels hormonal imbalance just as hormonal imbalance fuels abdominal fat. It’s tough to say which sets in first, but research firmly establishes that those of us who tend to accumulate pounds around the waist (apple shape) have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure than those who carry excess weight on the hips and thighs (pear shape). One of the quickest ways to determine whether you are hormonally imbalanced is to measure your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Calculating your WHR determines definitively whether the weight around your midsection exceeds that surrounding your hips and thighs.

Calculating your WHR determines definitively whether the weight around your midsection exceeds that surrounding your hips and thighs. Measure your waist just about a thumb-width below your belly button, the widest part of your waist. Measure your hips around the widest part of your buttocks. A waist measurement of more than 89 centimetres (35 inches) for women or more than 102 centimetres (40 inches) for men is pushing into the unhealthy range. Next, calculate your WHR by dividing the measurement of your waist by the measurement of your hips. If your WHR is greater than 0.9 for men or 0.8 for women, you are also at risk. For example, let’s say Mary’s waist measures 71 centimetres (28 inches) and her hips are 84 centimetres (33 inches). Her waist-to-hip ratio would be calculated as follows: 84 ÷ 71 = 0.84 (28 ÷ 33 = 0.84). Because 0.8 is considered unsafe for women, Mary is at risk and needs to lose some belly fat. What’s your waist-to-hip ratio?

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