The waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) of a person is defined as the person's waist circumference, divided by the person's height. The WHtR is a measure of the distribution of body fat. Higher values of WHtR indicate higher risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases; it is correlated with abdominal obesity.
The WHtR should not be confused with the Waist–hip ratio (WHR), which has also been used to measure body fat distribution.
A 2010 study that followed 11,000 subjects for up to eight years concluded that WHtR is a much better measure of the risk of heart attack, stroke or death than the more widely used body mass index. However, a 2011 study that followed 60,000 participants for up to 13 years found that waist-hip ratio (when adjusted for BMI) was a better predictor of ischaemic heart disease mortality than WHtR.
Conversely, WHtR was not a predictor for new-onset diabetes melitus in at least one study.
A WHtR of over 0.5 is critical and signifies an increased risk; a 2010 systematic review of published studies concluded that "WHtR may be advantageous because it avoids the need for age-, sex- and ethnic-specific boundary values". For people under 40 the critical value is 0.5, for people aged 40–50 the critical value is between 0.5 and 0.6, and for people over 50 the critical values start at 0.6.
|Female College Swimmer||0.4240|
|Male College Swimmer||0.4280|
|Female at increased risk||0.4920|
|General healthy cutoff||0.5000|
|Risk equivalent to BMI of 25||0.5100|
|Males at increased risk||0.5360|
|Risk equivalent to BMI of 30||0.5700|
|Substantial risk increase||0.5820|
|Children (up to 15)||Men||Women||Categorisation||Examples|
|>0.34||> 0.34||> 0.34||Extremely Slim||Marilyn Monroe (0.3359)|
|0.35 to 0.45||0.35 to 0.42||0.35 to 0.41||Underweight||Beyonce (0.3881)
Kate Moss (0.3882)
|0.46 to 0.51||0.43 to 0.52||0.42 to 0.48||Healthy Range||Female College Swimmer (0.4240)
Male College Swimmer (0.4280)
Ashley Graham (plus sized model) (0.4354)
Body Builder (0.4580)
|0.52 to -.63||0.53 to 0.57||0.49 to 0.53||Overweight||Female at increased risk (0.4920)|
|0.64 +||0.58 to 0.62||0.54 to 0.57||Very Overweight|
|0.63 +||0.58 +||Morbidly Obese|
- Body adiposity index
- Body volume index
- Body mass index
- Sagittal Abdominal Diameter (SAD)
- Body fat percentage
- Body water
- Allometric law
- Ponderal index
- Rohrer's index
- CM Lee, Huxley RR, Wildman RP, Woodward M (July 2008). "Indices of abdominal obesity are better discriminators of cardiovascular risk factors than BMI: a meta-analysis'". Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 61 (7): 646–653. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2007.08.012. PMID 18359190.
- Schneider et al. (2010). "The predictive value of different measures of obesity for incident cardiovascular events and mortality.". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 95 (4): 1777–1785. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-1584. PMID 20130075.
- Mørkedal, Bjørn; Romundstad, Pål R; Vatten, Lars J. (2011). "Informativeness of indices of blood pressure, obesity and serum lipids in relation to ischaemic heart disease mortality: the HUNT-II study". European Journal of Epidemiology 26 (6): 457–461. doi:10.1007/s10654-011-9572-7. ISSN 0393-2990. PMC 3115050. PMID 21461943.
- Ren-Jieh Kuo et al. (2011). "Inability of waist-to-height ratio to predict new onset diabetes mellitus among older adults in Taiwan: A five-year observational cohort study". Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 53 (1): e1–e4. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2010.05.005.
- Browning Lucy M. et al. (2010). "A systematic review of waist-to-height ratio as a screening tool for the prediction of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: 0·5 could be a suitable global boundary value.". Nutrition research reviews 23 (02): 247–69. doi:10.1017/S0954422410000144.
- Ashwell, M., Gunn, P. & Gibson, S., 2012. Waist-to-height ratio is a better screening tool than waist circumference and BMI for adult cardiometabolic risk factors: systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 13, pp.275–286. Available at: http://www.ashwell.uk.com/images/2012 Ashwell Gunn and Gibson Ob Revs.pdf [Accessed March 25, 2014].
- Schneider, H.J. et al., 2010. The predictive value of different measures of obesity for incident cardiovascular events and mortality. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 95(4), pp.1777–85. Available at: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2009-1584 [Accessed March 30, 2014].