Waist to Hip Ratio is a Better Indicator of Obesity than BMI in the Elderly

New research findings of scientists from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA indicate that the waist to hip ratio is considered to be better indicator of obesity in older adults over the body mass index (BMI) factor. The results of their study are published in the online journal Annals of Epidemiology and it was funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Knowledge Gained from the Research on Waist to Hip Ratio Indicator of Obesity

  • For the young and middle-aged people, both BMI and waist size are the decisive factors of obesity as is known from previous studies.
  • The present study found that in elders though BMI did not play an important role, waist size greatly affected the fat levels present in the body.
  • The circumference of waist to hip was found to be more helpful in predicting obesity – especially in people belonging to the age group of 70 to 80 years.
  • Researchers believe that aging can change the body proportions in such a manner that the BMI factor may no longer be the most accurate way to gauge obesity.
  • Men and women between the ages 70-79 were studied for 12 years, during which time their BMI and their circumference of waist and ratio of this portion to hip were measured.
  • The study found no association between death rate and BMI or waist circumference, however a link was found to exist with the ratio of waist-hip.
  • Every 0.1 increase in this ratio resulted in the relative raise in the death rate by 28 percent in women.
  • In men, when this ratio crossed 1.0, the death rate risk increased by 75 percent.
  • No such relation was found to exist with either BMI or the waist size.

If obesity is a concern to you or someone you know, contact your physician for a reliable opinion. Do not attempt to self diagnose any disease at home.


UCLA NewsRoom: Waist-hip Ratio Better Than BMI for Gauging Obesity in Elderly

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