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Health CentersText size: A A A May 8, 2009

Are You an Apple or a Pear?

In addition to calculating your body mass index (BMI), you or your health care professional should measure your waist and hips to determine your waist-to-hip ratio because abdominal fat is an independent predictor of disease risk. A ratio of 0.8 or greater for women (1.0 or greater for men) indicates that you tend to store your body fat around your middle (making you an "apple" versus a "pear" shape). Women with a waist circumference over 34 inches (and men over 40 inches) have the greatest risk of developing insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (heart disease and strokes).

How to Measure

  1. Stand relaxed.
  2. Measure your natural waist line.
  3. Measure your hips at their widest circumference.

Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR) Calculator

Hip inches
Waist inches
Your waist-to-hip ratio is

If your WHR is 0.8 or greater (1.0 or greater for men), talk to your health care professional. He or she can advise you about a weight-loss program suited to your weight and health goals.

Learn more in the Weight Management Health Topic A-Z.

This content was produced with the support of an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis.

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National Women's Health Resource Center   157 Broad Street, Suite 106   Red Bank, NJ 07701   1-877-986-9472 (toll-free)