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Why the Simple Waist-To-Height Ratio Is a Powerful Health Measurement


The waist-to-height ratio is a great predictor of a person’s level of insulin resistance. The test can predict your risk for developing diseases linked to excessive insulin, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Above is a great infographic by Dr. Ted Naiman explaining the concept.

The test is also basically free and anyone can do it at home. Not sure how to measure? Check out the picture below:

How to measure


So now you’ve calculated the results – and want to know what the results mean. Dr. Naiman has got you covered. Ideally, aim for a waist-to-height ratio of less than 0.5:

Recommendations and examples


Personally I’m at a ratio of 0.44 today – though some may consider it unfair as I’m 6’7″…

Do you want to share your result? Feel free to do so in the comments below.

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  1. Kate
    Waist measurement in cm, divided by Height in cm, equals Ratio.
  2. J. Lance De Foa, MD
    I first read about this on Dr. Jason Fung's blog and started using it with my patients and myself in October 2016. When I saw I had 7 cm excess circumference I stopped buying donuts "for the clinic". From the patient's height I calculate the target waist. For women with a waist narrowing I measure the narrowest spot. For those without, and for most men I measure the widest, around the "love handles" and often crossing the umbilicus. That way it is easier to measure improvement. Most have waists above 1/2 their height. Most also have elevated fasting insulin & elevated glucose or A1c. I give out a sheet with the DietDoctor.com visual guides. Every day in clinic SOMEONE is narrowing and losing weight.
  3. John
    I belive it should consider the measurement not only of the belly as it does but also the hip, some people just have thicker bones and structures. I know people that are short without any belly at all but with strong structure.
    This is a good general rule, but with lots of room for improving.
  4. Popi
    There's different body shapes and bone structures! A simple ratio tells only a small part of the story
  5. Rebecca
    I am 5ft 3 and waist measures 31 inches. I have been doing the low carb diet for 3-4 months..(very diligently) and my waist has not changed I did drop 5 pounds though. I am in ketosis (I measure every morning). And now when I do the math.. seems I am at risk. Any comments, suggestions?


  6. Lora
  7. Markus
    Cant be right this. Accordning to this im apparently obese!?
    Im a bit over weight but not that fat! Hahaha...not buyin it...
  8. Lori Hope
    When I was first diagnosed a rather overweight Nurse told me that I had 'Truncal Obesity'

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