Do you assess your weight and health by looking at the body weight? If so, please not to think this as the only way for you to evaluate your weight and health. There are various factors need to consider as body weight alone does not tell you how much fat you have or where it is stored.
Simply put, it is important to know how much of your weight is body fat and where that body fat is located. These are the predictors that tell you whether you have health problems related to your weight.
Although there are a number of weight assessment methods such as based on height and weight or based on measurements of body fat to determine whether you are at a healthy weight, the main point is to confirm that your weight does not cause health problems to you and that you can take the needed action accordingly.
An interesting fact is that our body shape can be used in assessing our weight. Ask yourself this question: Are you an “apple” shape where you store excess body fat in the stomach area and around the waist? Or are you a “pear” shape, storing excess body fat below the waist, in the hips, buttocks and thighs?
Which body shape is better? Generally, a pear shape does not appear to be as harmful as far as health is concerned when compared to an apple shape.
Medical studies showed that an apple shape can put us at higher risk to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, early heart disease and certain type of cancer.
If you are not sure whether you are an apple shape or a pear shape, the following waist-to-hip ratio measurement steps could be used for this purpose:
- Have a ninety-six-inch tape ready.
- Stand relaxed and start to measure your waist at its smallest point. Be you naturally do not suck in your stomach.
- Measure your hips at the largest part of your buttocks and hips.
- Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.
After the above steps, if the number you get is near to or more than 1.0, you would be considered an apple shape; otherwise, you would be considered a pear shape if your number is considerably less than 1.0.
You may look at the following table to know where you waist-to-hip measurement fall.
|Moderately High Risk||0.90-1.0||0.80-0.85|
To properly weigh yourself, make sure you use a beam balance scale and not a spring scale. Wear lightweight clothing and do not wear shoes, and for consistency, you should weigh yourself at the same time of day each time, morning is best. Never forget the scale must be periodically calibrated for accuracy and weigh on the same scale each time you weigh in.
Tan Kok Hui
Nutrition Made Simple, Life Made Rich