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Measure Up

What does your waist measurement say about your health?


Carrying a lot of fat around your middle (apple shape) poses more of a health risk for heart disease and diabetes than fat stored on hips and thighs (pear shape). So, even if you have reached your Target Weight, its a good idea to check your waist measurement.
How to measure your waist
To measure your waist, place a tape measure just above the highest point of your hip bones (you might have to poke your fingers in a bit to find them!) your waist is often roughly in line with your navel.


The tape should fit snugly but dont cheat by pulling it in as tightly as you can or by trying to hold your tummy in!


Ensure the tape is parallel to the floor all round and exhale to take the measurement.
Healthy waist measurements
Ideally a womans waist measurement should not exceed 32 inches (80 centimetres) and a mans 37 inches (94 centimetres) irrespective of height.


If a womans waist measurement is more than 35 inches (88 centimetres) and a mans more than 40 inches (102 centimetres), it would be advisable to try and lose some weight in order to reduce waist measurement even if you are at a healthy weight.
Are you an apple or pear?
Another way of measuring whether you are an apple or a pear is the waist-hip ratio. For this, measure your waist as above, then measure your hips at the widest point. Now divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.


You are an apple if you are:

  • Male with a waist-hip ratio of greater than 1
  • Female with a waist-hip ratio of greater than 0.8


Your waist is 36 inches and your hips are 40 inches.
36 divided by 40 is 0.9


If you were male you would be a pear (less than 1), but if you were female you would be an apple (greater than 0.8).


REMEMBER losing 7 pounds can lose approximately a half inch around your waist!

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