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4. Body Mass Index and Waist to Hip Circumference Ratio

Body Mass Index and Waist to Hip Circumference Ratio are used together to identify individuals who may be at increased risk of chronic disease.


Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement which is determined by using height and weight.  It is a general guideline that for many people, correlates with their amount of body fat. Overweight and obesity are ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height.  The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.

It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with weight, BMI does not directly measure body fat.  As a result, some people, such as athletes, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat. 

Click here to view the Body Mass Index table:


Click here to calculate your Body Mass Index:



Waist to Hip Circumference Ratio

Health Care professionals are concerned not only with how much fat you have, but also where the fat is located on your body.  Excess abdominal fat is an important independent risk factor for chronic disease.  Research shows that waist circumference is directly associated with abdominal fat and can be used in the assessment of risks associated with obesity or overweight.  If you carry fat mainly around your waist, you are at an increased risk to develop diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. 

Women with a measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist circumference of more than 40 inches may have more health risks than people with lower waist measurements because of body fat distribution around the waist. 

Click here to use a Waist to Hip Circumference Ratio calculator: