Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) – a better tool?

The good news is that the mainstream fitness community is more aware that the body mass index (BMI) standard for measuring human health is indeed flawed.

Check out this blurb over at Livestrong.com which talks about a recent study proposing the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) as a better measure than BMI for assessing obesity and cardiovascular risk.

Essentially, the WHtR focuses on measuring abdominal fat as a way of quantifying fitness and risk for cardiovascular disease. This is certainly preferable to BMI measurements.

However, what it doesn’t really accurately measure is body composition. And it certainly doesn’t measure systemic inflammation.

This means that you can still deem “skinny fat” people such as chain smokers who eat primarily junk food as “Slender and Healthy” or “Healthy and Attractive” according to the new WHtR categories. And the same goes for heavy endurance athletes and chronic cardio fiends whose cortisol levels are way out of range due to a constant stress response with inadequate recovery.

Still, until we come up with a more mainstream tool for measuring body composition and systemic inflammation, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

One Comment

  1. diver dave
    May 12, 2010

    holy cats ! ! ! with the old bmi caculations i score 26.58 and i need to rush to the hospital for open heart surgery ! ! !
    with the new score of .44 i am very healthy …..
    who do i believe now ? ? ?


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