Measuring the waist-to-height ratio rather than just BMI may be more helpful because BMI does not take into account excess weight around the abdomen. They are also inaccurate in people with a BMI over 35, pregnant women or children under the age of two, the BBC reports.
For example, if you’re 5ft 9 inches tall, your waist measurement should be less than 87.5cm (34 inches) – or half your height, according to new draft guidelines from the National Institutes of Health and Care Excellence. country (NICE).
The guidelines state that Asians and certain ethnic groups are more prone to central obesity.
The recommendation suggests that these people use a lower BMI threshold for obesity to help predict their specific health risks.
“Explain to people that to measure their waistline, they should find the bottom of their ribs and the top of their hips, wrap the tape measure around their waist in between these points, and exhale naturally before measuring,” NICE instructs. .
While some experts say it’s not harmful to try “new ways” to make people think about their health, others say that measuring the waistline doesn’t work for people who are very short or short. Elderly people over 60 years old may experience a decrease in height due to aging.
But Professor Rachel Batterham, consultant in obesity, diabetes and endocrinology, disagrees, the report said.
“Waist-to-height ratio is a simple, easy-to-use measure for identifying people who are at increased health risk and would benefit from weight management support to improve health,” says Batterham. improve their health”.
She added: “Increased fat in the abdomen increases the risk of several life-limiting diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The updated guidelines note that physicians should also consider using waist-to-height ratios in children and young adults over 5 years of age to assess and predict health risks.
Healthcare professionals and the public can comment on the recommendations suggested in the guidelines before they are published in May, the report said.