Study: Waist to height ratio ‘more accurate than BMI’

“Measuring the ratio of someone’s waist to their height is a better way of predicting their life expectancy than body mass index (BMI), the method widely used by doctors when judging overall health and risk of disease, researchers said.”

Read more at the Telegraph.


  1. The BMI may be widely used, but doesn’t it seem rather subjective? Even if the chart is colorful and impressive and seen in almost all medical offices. It seems to have taken on a life of it’s own, without question.

  2. The waist-to-height is probably simplistic but it may be an easy way of deciding whether more screening is needed. It seems more plausible than BMI, which was only meant as a quick screen anyway.
    Heavily muscled people, usually men, may have a somewhat higher waist-to-height ratio but it’s unlikely to pass 50%, I suppose.
    So — does the 50% marker actually correlate with a significant difference in health? Diabetes rates, joint problems, heart disease — that would be the next question. If there’s a sharp rise above 50%, what’s the balance of marker vs. cause?
    For a man in my age group, part of the question would be how to measure the waist. Do I stand in my normal, relaxed posture? Or at attention with a bit of sucking in? Even relaxed, I have some muscle definition visible, but I do have some relaxation.
    I miss my abdomen of my 30s but that ship has sailed…

  3. These are big insight, MT. I’d speculate that there’s virtually no [historical] data on this new metric and therefore no way to analyze coorelations with various ‘fat related’ diseases. So if it were adopted, and if someones started collecting statistics, maybe in 10 or 20 years we might have some useful results. I’ll be 87 in 20 years, so I may not live to see the outcome.


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