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Having a waistline half your height is the perfect formula for good health, experts say 


Having a waistline half your height is the perfect formula for good health, experts say

  • Watchdog says people should be encouraged to measure waist-to-height ratio 
  • Too much fat around the middle is linked to a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • A 5ft 10in tall man would be at an increased health risk with a 36-inch waist

There are many magic formulas when it comes to our health. But the simplest may be to keep our waistline half our height.

This is the new advice from health officials to combat bulging bellies amid a national obesity crisis.

Too much fat around the middle is linked to a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to experts.

And now, for the first time, health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says people should be encouraged to measure their own waist-to-height ratio.

Too much fat around the middle is linked to a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to experts

Too much fat around the middle is linked to a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to experts

Dr Paul Chrisp, of Nice, said the updated guideline was a ‘simple and effective way’ for people to manage their health.

He added: ‘Our committee found that a clear benefit of using the waist-to-height ratio is that people can easily measure it themselves, interpret the results and seek medical advice if they are at increased health risk.’

A healthy waist-to-height ratio is classed as 0.4 to 0.49. A ratio of 0.5 to 0.59 puts people at increased risk of health issues, while 0.6 or more puts them at the highest risk.

It means that a woman who is 5ft 4in tall with a waist circumference of 29 inches would have a healthy ratio. But a 32-inch waist would push her into the unhealthy range.

Meanwhile, a man who is 5ft 10in tall would be at an increased health risk with a 36-inch waist.

Now, for the first time, health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says people should be encouraged to measure their own waist-to-height ratio

Now, for the first time, health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says people should be encouraged to measure their own waist-to-height ratio

Anyone wishing to find out their waist-to-height ratio can use an online calculator or ask a health professional to work it out.

It can be used for men, women and all ethnic groups as well as muscular adults who may have a misleading body mass index.

Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: ‘More weight around the middle is an important sign of needing to consume less calories or burn more off. As most people know their height, and their waist size is on clothing labels, this may be a simple tool.’

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