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Where to measure your waist!
13 Feb 2013, 18:23
I've just spotted some information on the meaning of different waist measurements depending how high/low on your body you take the measurement. #waist

This study was examining the effects of different exercise regimes on type of fat lost during dieting but the useful information I gleaned was that if you measure your waist at the level of your lumbar vertebrae L3 (which is about halfway between your navel and your ribs) you can get a good idea of how your visceral fat is changing while if you measure at L5 (which is about halfway between your navel and your hips) it is a better predictor of how subcutaneous fat is changing.

As it is the visceral fat that is the most dangerous from a cardiovascular point of view, the higher point is probably the most useful place for us to measure.

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Thanks for that info. Must measure waist from just above navel from now on as it's viseral fat that I want and NEED to shift.
Thank you. This is useful stuff.
Hmmmmmm.... I've been measuring at navel level (it's easy to find, and that used to be the broadest bit anyway). I'm now below the magical half-height benchmark there \yay/ (but still not near the 0.8-times-hip-measurement one, because my hips are getting smaller too).

But now I see that there's still a bulge below that navel level and I'm wondering if I've been measuring the wrong bit.

Incidentally, where does the waist-less-than-half-your-height guideline come from? I like it that I've beaten that one, but I still keep seeing the waist-less-than 0.8-times-hips guideline.

Either way, I do need to work on that bulge, since I'm doing this for my health rather that to lose weight, delightful side-effect though it is....
The article I linked to in the above post explains that above your navel is a reasonable indication of visceral fat whereas below your navel is an indication of subcutaneous fat. As it is the visceral fat that is most detrimental to your health you should measure above your navel.

Dr M mentions the half your height thing in his book. The waist:hip ratio has been long cited as a good indication of cardivascular risk, however if you are pear-shaped (like me) you can be within the 0.8 guideline but still be massively overweight while people who are stick thin with little waist can fail the 0.8 guideline. I think the half your height is better but if your waist:hip ratio is bigger than 0.8 even though your waist is less than half your height you need to look critically at yourself and see if you could manage to lose a bit round the waist!

I am very interested to find out why women seem to be increasingly apple-shaped these days. What has changed in our lives that has resulted in the typical woman no longer being pear shaped but apple shaped?
Yes.... it does seem more logical to compare one variable (waist measurement) against a relatively stable measurement (height, although I'm now 2 cm shorter than I thought I was), instead of another variable (hips). But I can't find any mention of one-half-height other than in The Book. Maybe I just can't find the right Google search terms.

Interesting about the thought of increasing apple-ness.... my fat seems to be defying gravity and migrating upwards.
Here you go: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20054212

Screening health risk by BMI alone would 'miss' 35% of men and 14% of women who are within the normal BMI range (18.5-25 kg/m(2)) but have central fat distribution, defined by WHtR [waist to height ratio] > 0.5. In the total population this equates to 17% of all men and 6% of all women who would be inadequately screened by BMI alone. Compared to BMI, WHtR was more closely associated with CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk factors among both men and women. Furthermore, in a combined analysis of men and women, central fat distribution with a normal BMI was associated with higher levels of CVD risk factors than being overweight without central fat distribution.



And http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23451815 which shows that both absolute waist and waist to height measure are needed.

Also:
Waist height ratio as a risk measurement for the elderly: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22905246
Waist height ratio as a risk measurement for children: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11126342
My problem is trying to get the tape measure flat enough to get a sensible measurement - its so variable. Maybe I should use a tape measure only 1mm deep, and then draw my waist with indelible ink, so I can get something reliable :smile:
Perhaps a reason for women seeming to be increasingly apple-shaped is the rise of the female beer belly... women drinking more alcohol than they used to?
Ah but is the beer belly so called because it is traditionally seen in men who tend to put on weight on the tummy? If women had traditionally drunk a lot of beer in the past would we be describing a beer bottom? The apple shape seems to appear in childhood so I hope it's not due to alcohol!
carorees wrote: Here you go: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20054212

Screening health risk by BMI alone would 'miss' 35% of men and 14% of women who are within the normal BMI range (18.5-25 kg/m(2)) but have central fat distribution, defined by WHtR [waist to height ratio] > 0.5. In the total population this equates to 17% of all men and 6% of all women who would be inadequately screened by BMI alone. Compared to BMI, WHtR was more closely associated with CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk factors among both men and women. Furthermore, in a combined analysis of men and women, central fat distribution with a normal BMI was associated with higher levels of CVD risk factors than being overweight without central fat distribution.


Aha!

Now I think on it, yes, I had come across WHtR before but hadn't checked what it means.... Duh....

Um.... wait a minute.... how does "waist to height ratio" become "WHtR"?
W=waist, Ht=height, R=ratio as opposed to WHR (waist hip ratio)
*ungggggnnnnnn*

I was trying to fit that "to" into the acronym.... as in: WTHR.... Yup---there aren't enough letters in the alphabet to make unique acronyms, so this isn't, strictly speaking, an acronym.

Maybe I need more coffee before posting.
carorees wrote: Ah but is the beer belly so called because it is traditionally seen in men who tend to put on weight on the tummy? If women had traditionally drunk a lot of beer in the past would we be describing a beer bottom? The apple shape seems to appear in childhood so I hope it's not due to alcohol!


I seem to remember from way back when I studied human biology something about drinking alcohol making the body tend to store fat in the abdomen rather than round the hips. Wouldn't apply to children though.
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