WHtR (Waist to Height Ratio)

WHtR: The more convincing method to determine obesity

The Waist-to-Height Ratio is the ratio of abdominal girth to height.

Recent research shows that the Waist to Height Ratio compared to the BMI is the more meaningful method for determining whether someone is overweight and whether he or she faces a health risk.

WHtR takes into account that abdominal fat has more negative health effects than fat accumulation in other parts of the body.

Abdominal fat is always associated with adiposity of the internal organs and is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. The abdominal girth is therefore an extremely meaningful measure of the health risk. Even if people are considered "normal weight" according to conventional methods of determination such as BMI, there is a significantly increased risk of illness if the WHtR is increased.

In principle, the WHtR should be between 0.32 and 0.50 and not more than 0.53. The risk of developing the disease should be significantly higher if the WHtR is increased. A WHtR of 0.53 corresponds to a BMI of 25.

Calculation of the WHtR

The WHtR can easily be determined by yourself:

Measure your abdominal girth in the morning at the level of your navel. It is then calculated as follows:

WHtR = abdominal girth in cm / body height in cm

A woman is 170 cm tall and has a girth of 80 cm. So her WHtR is 0.47.

Importance of WHtR values depending on age

The same values apply to women and men.

Teenagers up to 15 years

    0,34 Underweight
0,34 - 0,45 Normal weight
0,46 - 0,51 Overweight
0,52 - 0,63 Obesity (obesity)
0,63 >   Severe obesity

Up to 40 years of age

    0,40 Underweight
0,40 - 0,50 normal weight
0,51 - 0,56 Overweight
0,57 - 0,68 Obesity (obesity)
0,68 >   Severe obesity

Over 50 years of age

    0,40 Underweight
0,40 - 0,60 normal weight
0,61 - 0,66 Overweight
0,67 - 0,78 Obesity (obesity)
0,78 >   Severe obesity

Why does age matter?

Due to several factors, the stature of most people changes between the ages of 40 and 50. This is a natural development and by no means pathological. The WHtR tables take this change into account: the value shifts upwards by one hundredth per year. A stable new weight should settle at fifty.