Sunday, November 16, 2008

Waist to Hip Beats BMI

It looks like waist to hip ratio maybe a better measure for obesity related death compared to BMI.

BMI tends not to be effective for elderly, body builders or muscular athletes.

Waist, Hip Size Key to Predicting Health Risk

November 13, 2008 - Reuters - by Gene Emery

A large European study has confirmed that simple measurements of the waist and hips may offer a better way of predicting obesity-related death than a standard, but more complicated, system of relating weight to height.

The standard body mass index, or BMI, method does not work very well for some people, such as the elderly or body builders, and researchers have begun building a case that it is better to look at waist circumference or the ratio of waist size to hip size.

Among people with comparable BMIs, having an extra 2 inches around the waist increased the annual risk of death by 17 percent for men and 13 percent for women, according to the team led by Dr. Tobias Pischon of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke in Nuthetal, Germany.

When they calculated the waist-to-hip ratio by dividing a person's waist size, measured at the navel, by the biggest part of their hips, the Pischon group found that the risk of death increased by 34 percent for men and 24 percent for women every time that ratio increased by 0.1.

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