Waist-Hip Ratio and Apple/ Pear Shapes
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) looks at the proportion of fat stored on your body around your waist and hip. It is a simple but useful measure of fat distribution. Most people store their body fat in two distinct ways: around their middle (apple shape) and around their hips (pear shape).
Waist-Hip Ratio and Health Risk
A study from Queen’s University in Canada confirms that storing fat primarily in your belly, rather than your hips, increases your chances of suffering heart attacks and diabetes (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2004). When you take in more calories than your body needs, your liver turns them into fat. People who store fat primarily in their bellies are called "apples," while those who store fat primarily in their hips are called "pears." Fat cells in your belly are different from those in your hips. The blood that flows from belly fat goes directly to your liver, whereas the blood that flows from your hips goes into your general circulation. The livers of those who store fat in their bellies are blocked from removing insulin by the extra fat and therefore do not remove insulin from the bloodstream as effectively as the livers of those who store fat in their hips and have less fat in their livers. So "apples" have higher blood insulin and sugar levels.
You need insulin to drive sugar from your bloodstream into your cells, but insulin is also a harmful hormone because it lowers blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol that prevents heart attacks and raises blood levels of the bad triglycerides that cause heart attacks. Being shaped like an apple and having a beer belly increases your risk for a heart attack and diabetes. People who store fat primarily in their hips and are shaped like pears are less likely to have heart attacks.
Waist-Hip Ratio and Obesity
Even so, overall obesity is still of greater risk than where fat is distributed or stored on your body. Other important measurements are Body Mass Index (BMI) and percentage of body fat.
How to Calculate Waist-Hip Ratio?
Waist Hip Ratio is calculated by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement. (Hips are the widest part of your butt).To calculate your waist-hip ratio, Use this calculator:
Best Waist-Hip Ratio for Men and Women
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