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Weight measurements may be more accurate using waist circumference than BMI, study says

Posted: May 14, 2012 |   Comments

For all we know about the complex relationship between obesity and health,
experts still face a fundamental problem: The tools used to measure
body fat can fail to give a true sense of a person's weight-related
health risks.

A new review suggests that a simple measurement -- the ratio of one's
waist circumference to height -- is significantly better at gauging
cardio-metabolic risk than body mass index and waist circumference, two
common measures.

In data being presented at the European Congress on Obesity
in Lyon, France, researchers reviewed 31 scientific papers to determine
the effectiveness of using BMI (a ratio of height to weight) versus
measuring one's waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio, to gauge
risk. Looking through the studies, they hoped to see which best
detected problems like high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, abnormal
body fat levels and metabolic syndrome.

Compared with BMI, measuring waist circumference was considered
superior in detecting adverse health outcomes. Waist-to-height ratios
were even better at predicting diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular
disease, leading the researchers to determine that the measurement was
an effective screening tool.

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