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Waist-to-Hip Ratio: Is Your Body Fat Mostly Belly Fat?

Did you know that if you store more fat around your belly, rather than your hips and thighs, you are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke?

Your Waist-to-Hip ratio shows if more of your body fat is actually belly fat. In fact, just knowing your waist measurement can be helpful, as you'll soon see.

For best results, measure your waist at the thinnest point and your hips at the widest point.

Your Physical Profile

Waist Measurement:  
Hip Measurement:  
Unit of Measure:  
Quick Facts - Waist-to-Hip Ratio and Belly Fat:
  • If you have more belly fat (i.e. around the waist), you're said to have an "apple" shape. If you store more fat around the hips/thighs, you have a "pear" shape. You want to be a pear, not an apple.
  • More men tend to be apples and more women tend to be pears.
  • Recent studies have found that the Waist-to-Hip ratio was a better indicator of future heart problems than the widely-used Body Mass Index.
  • The Waist-to-Hip ratio shows that watching your weight is not enough any more -- it's important to keep an eye on your body fat and body measurements too.

Results: Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Enter your profile information and click Calculate to see results.

Sources and Resources:

  • "A farewell to body-mass index?" - The Lancet, November, 2005; 366:1589-1591.
  • "Elevated waist-hip ratio, not high body mass index, is associated with a greater risk of death" - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August, 2006; 84:449-460.
  • Waist Circumference Guidelines from the National Institutes of Health
  • Also try: Waist-to-Hip Ratio calculator at the Univeristy of Maryland
  • "Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance" by McArdle, Katch, and Katch.
  • "Principles & Labs for Physical Fitness and Wellness" by Hoeger and Hoeger
  • "Fitness and Health" by Brain Sharkey
  • "Fit and Well" by Fahey, Insel, and Roth


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