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Ratio of Waist to Hips

Timeless Fitness Tip

Fat located in the abdominal area can be an indication of possible health risks. The good news? The threats excess belly fat can pose, can also be cut down to size.

Man with big belly

Research has shown that individuals with fat located in this area are at risk for hypertension, diabetes, and possible breast cancer even if their weight is in the normal range.

One way to determine if your belly is too rotund is to calculate your ratio of waist to hip measurements.

How to Calculate Your Waist to Hip Ratio:

  • Measure your waist at its narrowest point.
  • Measure your hips at their widest point.
  • Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement.

Women are at increased risk if the waist to hip ratio exceeds eight tenths of a percent (0.8).

Men are at increased risk if the ratio exceeds one-percent (1.0).

Trimming Down Belly Fat

You can tone your abdominal muscles with targeted abdominal exercises, but exercises alone won't get rid of belly fat.


Abdominal exercise for better ratio of waist to hip


Fortunately, however, visceral fat responds to the same diet and exercise strategies that can help you shed excess pounds and lower your total body fat. To fight back the bulge, stick to the basics:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Keep portion sizes in check
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine

Resources: NIDDK, Archives of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

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