We’ve all heard of the BMI scale and how it is an indicator of health. If you’ve been to the doctor or applied for insurance they have probably calculated your BMI. What the doctors and the insurance companies are not telling you is it’s outdated system and proven to not be effective at indicating health. If you calculate my BMI I’m morbidly obese. Right now I’m 5’9″, 206 lbs, and about 10% BF. I’m no where near overweight or even close to being obese. My ideal weight in the eyes of the government and medical community is 128lbs to 162 lbs!!! Seriously, no joke. Can you imagine me anywhere in the healthy weight? I would look anorexic!! Last time I was at the doctors and I had dropped 5 lbs he saw it as a good thing.
So if BMI is outdated then what’s the best method?
So if BMI is outdated, useless, and a joke how should you determine your health risks like heart disease and your healthy body weight? As usual the government and doctors are behind the times. Research has show WTR, which strands for waist to tallness ratio, is one of the best indicators for 18 heart risk factors.
“The study included more than 48,000 patients of nearly 3,800 primary care offices. Each person’s BMI, WTR, waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratios were noted. A smaller group (about 7,500 people) also got in-depth testing and was followed for a year.
The goal: See which measurement synched up best with a list of 18 single or combined heart risk factors. The answer: WTR, followed by waist circumference, and then BMI.
The waist-to-tallness ratio was “most strongly associated with most risk factors in males and females,” write the researchers, who included Harald Schneider of the Max Planck Institute of psychiatry in Munich, Germany.
“As a consequence, the measurement of the WTR as a simple and the most reliable predictor of cardiovascular risk in primary care is suggested,” say Schneider and colleagues.” ; WebMD
“New research presented at the 19th European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France, suggests that the better way to know where you stand concerning health risks related to your amount of body fat is your waist-to-height ratio.
Researchers reviewed 31 studies of more than 300,000 men and women. They found that waist-to-height ratio was more accurate than BMI and than waist circumference alone at predicting certain health risks associated with being overweight or obese, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.” WebMD
So how do you utilize WTR or Waist to height to determine if you’re at a healthy bodyfat level? To figure it out take your height in inches and multiply it by 0.55 for men and 0.53 for women. That will give you a fairly good idea of the upper limit of a healthy waistline (in inches) for you. Simple and effective.
So stop worrying about weight, BMI and even Bodyfat %. WTR is a more effective way to determine the important hear health factors.