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Waist to Hip Ratio

It is not how much your weight is, but how much fat you have and where it is stored in your body. Waist Hip Ratio (WHR) helps provide a guide to distribution of fat. Fat around the abdomen is reflected by measurement of waist circumference.

Increasing waist circumference indicates that you have high visceral fat. High visceral fat contributes to increased risk for medical conditions like the type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and coronary heart disease, to name a few.

How do you measure waist circumference?

Measurement should be taken at the mid-point between the top of the hip bone and the lowest rib. Make sure the measuring tape is close to the skin but does not compress the skin and is parallel to the floor. For many people this may be around the belly button but not always. In people with morbidly obesity it may be difficult to measure waist circumference. However, in those with a BMI >35 kg/m2, waist circumference is not reliable and does not provide information on health risk accurately. Another person may need to help measure WHR. You should breathe out before the waist measurement is taken. Click here to see the simplyweight video clip.

Recommended waist circumference

White and black men should be below 94cm (37 inches).

White and black women should be below 80cm (31.5 inches).

However South Asian men should be below 90cm (35 inches) and South Asian


WHR has been found to be a more efficient predictor of mortality in older people than waist circumference or body mass index (BMI). Only waist-hip ratio takes account of the differences in body structure. Hence, it is possible for two women to have vastly different body mass indices but the same waist-hip ratio, or to have the same body mass index but vastly different waist-hip ratios. 

Calculate your waist hip ratio based on simplyweight WHR calculator

To calculate your ratio enter the following details
 Male   Female  Metric   Imperial

Waist measurement (cm) 

40         115       175

Hip measurement (cm) 

40         115       175


This ratio is
See below for some suggestions.
Your waist to hip ratio is good

Generally if you have a ratio of 0.75 to 0.8 you are at low risk of weight-related illness. It is however important to maintain your shape whilst having a healthy weight. Healthy weight hip ration postpones onset of any weight-related problems like diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke etc.

Waist to Hip Ratio Chart
Health Risk
0.95 or below 0.80 or below Low Risk
0.96 to 1.00 81 to 0.85 Moderate Risk
1.0+ 0.85 + High Risk

South Asian men with a waist circumference > 90 cm and women with a waist >80 cm should be considered overweight.