By Allison J. Cleary
Just when you’ve gotten used to the BMI, or Body Mass Index, as the most cutting edge way of assessing your health risks, research raises a new finger of hesitation.
It turns out that, at least when it comes to assessing the risk of heart attacks, the ratio between your waist and hip measurements is a much stronger indicator than that of the BMI, according to a study from Canada’s McMaster University on more than 27,000 people worldwide. A higher ratio may indicate more abdominal fat while a lower one may indicate more lower-body muscle.
To determine your waist-to-hip ratio, measure your waist and hip circumferences with a snug tape measure, then divide the former number by the latter. Women with a ratio of 0.85 and above and men with a ratio of 0.90 or above are at increased risk of heart attack at some point in their lives and should seek advice from their physician.