Hourglass, pear shaped or apple. I’m sure every woman has wondered what shape they fit into and what it means. Do I have an hourglass figure? Does that mean I’m sexier? These are the questions that run through our minds no matter how fit we are. This month in our monthly Keep it healthy for Life weight loss support group we looked at what our shapes mean as well as Waist to hip ratios and how they impact our overall health.
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is one of several measurements your doctor can use to see if you are overweight and if that excess weight is putting your health at risk. Unlike Body Mass Index (BMI) which measures the ratio of your weight to your height, WHR measures the ratio of your waist circumference to your hip circumference. It determines how much fat is stored on your waist, hips and buttocks.
Not all excess weight is the same when it comes to your health risks. If you are an apple-shaped body (carry more around your midsection) you are at a higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and premature death than those that are pear or hourglass shaped (more weight in hips and thighs). Even if your BMI is within normal range you can be at a higher risk for disease.
According to the World Health organization (WHO) a healthy WHR is:
0.9 or less in men
0.85 or less in women
In both men and women a WHR above 1.0 puts you at risk for heart disease and other conditions.
To Calculate your WHR
Stand up straight and breathe out. Use a tape measure to check the distance around the smallest part of your waist, just above your belly button. This is your waist circumference.
Then measure the distance around the largest part of your hips- the widest part of your buttocks. This is your hip circumference
Calculate your WHR by dividing your waist circumference by your hip circumference.
Whatever shape you maybe be pick up a tape measure and see if your at risk for developing heart disease or other conditions. Pear, apple or hourglass all can be viewed in different ways but it is your WHR that will tell the tale.