Health considerations typically gain attention. Everyone is aware that excess weight increases the risk of serious health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, various forms of cancer, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea and arthritis to name a few. Excess weight doesn’t guarantee these problems, of course. Other elements such as lack of physical activity and family history also contribute to the health risk calculus. Still, at the end of the day, how much excess body fat is carried will greatly influence physical health and mental well-being.
The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is one of the best ways to establish a personal healthy weight. Calculate your WHR as follows. Measure your waist by wrapping a tape around your bare abdomen about an inch below the lowest rib. Don’t suck in your gut, but do exhale before measuring. Men have cause for concern when the waist is greater than 40 inches. For women the upper limit is 35 inches.
Findings from both studies confirmed that folks with a larger waist were much more likely to die prematurely than folks with a more slender waist regardless of BMI. As might be expected, a solid correlation also exists between a large WHR and premature death. In either case, exceeding the benchmarks of BMI or WHR should be cause for a review of diet and exercise habits.