Knowing your hip and waist ratio, also known as waist hip ratio, is important because where your body stores fat makes a difference in your health. In fact, it can be used to predict your risk for developing heart disease in the future.

What is the hip and waist ratio?

The waist and hip ratio is the comparison of your waist measurement to your hip measurement. It is a way to see whether your weight is mainly in your hips and buttocks or in the abdomen. Having the weight in your hips is known as a pear shape; having it in the abdomen is known as an apple shape.

How to find out your hip and waist ratio

Measure your waist with a measuring tape at the smallest point –between the rib cage and navel.
Measure your hips at the widest point –around the buttocks.
Divide your waist size in inches by your hip size in inches.
Example: a woman who weighs 300 pounds has a waist measure of 53 inches and a hip measurement of 60 inches.

53 inches ÷ 60 inches = 0.9 waist to hip ratio

What the numbers mean

If the answer is a waist to hip ratio of more than 1.0 in males and 0.8 in females it suggests that you are at increased risk to develop heart disease among other health issues.

The risk is higher for women who have a waist measurement of 35 inches or more and higher for men with a waist measurement of 40 inches or more.

Is being shaped like an apple bad?

Yes, because people who have a larger waist are more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes type 2. Health risks seem to appear for women who have a waist measurement greater than 35 inches and for men who have a waist measurement greater than 40 inches.

Abdominal fat is worse than fat on your buttocks or thighs because that extra fat surrounds important organs such as the liver and the pancreas. When you have too much fat in these areas of the body, your body can’t use the insulin produced by your pancreas very well. This is called insulin resistance and it causes high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels put your organs at higher risk.

If you lose weight, the amount of fat stored around your waist and important organs will decrease, and they will work better.

Are you supposed to weight more as you age?

You are not supposed, but many people gain about 20 pounds or about one pound per year between 25 and 50 years of age. The reason seems to be that they eat a little more and they are less physically active as they get older.

If you eat just 100 extra calories a day, you will eat 35,000 extra calories in a year and gain 10 pounds. (3,500 calories = 1 pound). Unfortunately, your metabolism also slows down as you age, so you don’t burn those extra calories.

Unfortunately, much of the weight we gain as we age is abdominal fat which is associated with insulin resistance, diabetes type 2, triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure.

Final word

The best way to prevent gaining those extra pounds as we age is to eat healthy and being physically active. Just by losing some weight around our waist we can prevent many health issues and look younger.

Work on losing weight. after you have lost 5 pounds, measure your waist and hips again. Keep reducing weight until your waist hip ratio is below 1.0 if you are a man or 0.85 if you are a woman. all obesity is bad for your health, but abdominal fat is the worst of all.


I am Andy Carpenter and I would start by saying that I have a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition Science conferred by California State University, Los Angeles and that I am certified as a Registered Dietitian.

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