Improving health measures

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

health exercise image

Measurement of waist-to-height ratios are a better method than body mass index (BMI) in predicting health and well-being, research has shown.

The BMI system is currently widely used by health professionals and involves ratio of weight to height.

However, research led by Dr Margarent Ashwell found that measuring waist-to-height ratios “was a better predictor…for diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension and CVD risk in both sexes in populations of various nationalities and ethnic groups.”

Dr Ashwell, who is a Visiting Researcher at Oxford Brookes, spoke on her findings at the European Congress on Obesity this week. 

An article on her work can read on The Telegraph’s website. Dr Ashwell explains: 

"If you are measuring waist-to-height ratio you are getting a much earlier prediction that something is going wrong, and then you can do something about it.

"The beauty is that you can do it in centimetres or inches, it doesn't matter. We have got increasing evidence that this works very well with children as well, because whilst they grow up their waist is growing but also their height."

Further information on Dr Ashwell’s work can be found on her website, while you can read more about the Department of Sport and Health Sciences on the Oxford Brookes website.