Interesting experiment

6th March 2008

Interesting experiment

Okay, so we all know (or should know) BMI is a faulty and largely inaccurate indicator of body fat or as The Rotund puts it, BMI is crap.

Recent studies have indicated that it isn’t how much fat you have that contributes to weight-related health problems as it is where fat is stored, something which has been shown to be genetically pre-determined – for more on this, see here. As a result, some researchers are calling for a dismissal of those faulty BMI measurements and are encouraging the use of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) instead to determined weight-related health risks:

According to researchers, the [WHR] danger point was more than 0.85 for women and more than 0.9 for men. This is because fat stored around the waist is more likely to affect lipids in the blood and clog up arteries than fat stored around the thighs and hips.

Dr. Arya Sharma, an obesity expert at Hamilton who took part in the research, said BMI was inappropriate because it did not take into account muscle — which is heavier than fat — and it did not show where fat was distributed.

“All that you need to define someone’s risk of heart attacks is to measure their waist and divide it by their hips, and if that is more than 0.85 for a woman and more than 0.9 for a man you are in a higher risk group and it does not matter what your BMI is,” Dr. Sharma said.

So, what’s my point, you may be asking. Kate Harding’s BMI Project has attracted the attention of a national women’s magazine who wants to feature body-positive materials in their publication. While these kinds of magazines usually promote dieting, the fact that they are open to and actively seeking out body-positive materials is awesome and I plan on participating.

The magazine requests submitters give their height, weight, BMI and WHR, amongst other information. I had never calculated my WHR before, so I whipped out my handy dandy measuring tape and plugged in my numbers. My WHR measures 0.787 – which, according to obesity researchers referenced above and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, places me well within a healthy range.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I did a google search for WHR ratio online calculators and just went down the list to see how I ranked.

According to

You have a Waist to Hip Ratio of 0.79 You may want to try the south beach diet.

The South Beach Diet link, of course, takes you to a special offer page on the BMI-Calculator website, where they no doubt get financial commission off of people who click on the link or sign up for the plan.


According to the University of Maryland Medical System:

Your Waist to Hip Ratio is 0.78 and appears to be within a healthy range.

No advertisements listed on the site.


According to Weight Loss Center:

Your Waist-Hip Ratio is: 0.79. For women : an ideal figure is 0.72 or less. Studies show that women have greatly increased chance of getting coronary disease and related health problems if their Waist-Hip ratio exceeds 0.72.

Notice the arbitrary change in the ratio here to 0.72 from the commonly accepted 0.8 recommended on most sites, and the 0.85 ratio recommended by researchers in the article above. The site lists a huge graphic advertisement to “Lose 20 pounds in three weeks!” with phentermine pills, as well as commercial text links to purchase more than 10 commercial diet plans, diet guides and books, and more than 11 unproven and untested diet pills and supplements.


According to University Community Health (a collaboration of Tampa area hospitals):

Your waist-to-hip (WHR) ratio is: 0.79

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

For men, a ratio of .90 or less is considered safe.
For women, a ratio of .80 or less is considered safe.

No advertisements listed on the site.


According to WeightLossTips:

Your WHR is:0.79.

In women, the ideal Waist : Hip Ratio is around or below 0.7, and in men it is around or below 0.9. In addition to being less at risk of the complications of obesity, women in the ideal Waist : Hip Ratio range are less susceptible to diabetes and ovarian cancer, and men are more fertile and are less susceptible to prostate and testicular cancer.

Notice the ratio for men at 0.9 remains constant, yet here the ratio for women is lowered from 0.8 (and even the 0.88 in the site below) to 0.7. I counted at least 10 advertisements for various diets and weight loss programs.


According to Healthline:

Your Waist-to-Hip Ratio: 0.79. According to the American Heart Association, women with a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.88 and men with a ratio of less than 0.95 have a decreased risk for obesity-related health problems.

No advertisements.


According to FreeDieting:

Your waist to hip ratio is 0.8. Women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 0.8 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution.

The site lists at least 15 ads for commercial diet plans, as well as commercial links to oodles of diet software tools, workout plans, fitness programs and a shopping guide. Perhaps this is why they raised my ratio from 0.787 to 0.8 when most sites use the tenth of a percentage measurement.


According to University of Pennsylvania Health System:

Based on the information you provided, your waist-hip ratio is 0.78. Good for you! Your current waist-hip ratio is not associated with significantly increased health risks. You can continue to maintain a healthy waist-hip ratio with good eating and exercise habits.

No advertisements.

I could go on and on, but I hope you notice the trend here. In each of the sites with no advertising for diet and weight loss products, my WHR and WHR standards are listed accurately, with standards reflecting those set forth by a government agency. On those sites with diet and weight loss advertisements, my WHR is either dramatically rounded up to fall within an unhealthy range, and/or erroneous and misleading standards are listed for what constitutes a healthy range for WHR, so that my perfectly healthy WHR suddenly becomes unhealthy and in need of one of the numerous diet products conveniently featured on their sites.

It’s like I posted yesterday – can we really trust those who stand to financially profit from promoting obesity as unhealthy and in seeing more people classified as obese?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2008 at 6:15 pm and is filed under Diets, Health, Nutrition & Fitness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  1. 1 On March 6th, 2008, The Rotund said:

    This would be shocking, but I think I’m so jaded about the diet industry’s motivations that I’d have been shocked if it had been any different.

    I haven’t read enough about this whole new WHR thing….

    It feels like it would penalize women with a more apple-ish figure.

    At the same time, it is interesting: this is the first time I’ve ever put in body measurement stats and had a site tell me I’m just fine. WOW. That’s a really interesting feeling of validation.

  2. 2 On March 6th, 2008, vesta44 said:

    I input my measurements at the UMMS site given by SP. I was told my WHR is 0.83 and appears to indicate an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

    You may wish to talk to a doctor about losing weight. Or you can get started on your own by eating right and getting regular exercise.

    Ummm, I already eat right and exercise regularly and it’s not changing my measurements any, so how is this going to help me avoid heart disease and diabetes?
    There are no advertisements for weight loss, just talk to my doctor (maybe because doctors recommend all kinds of diets, so no advertisement is necessary?).

  3. 3 On March 6th, 2008, Tari said:

    It is interesting that the sites that pimp products or programs have “stricter” standards.

    I think, though, that at the end of the day, WHR will be just as arbitrary as BMI, and even if it is an accurate marker for risk….it still doesn’t make dieting any more effective, or safe, permanent weight loss any more possible.

  4. 4 On March 6th, 2008, Miss Laura Mars said:

    First time commenter here. Just want to say that I really don’t think dieting is going to do much to change one’s waist-to-hip ratio, anyhow. Several years ago, I weighed 140 lbs. My WHR at that time would have been 83.3 I currently weigh over 60 lbs. more than that, and my WHR is 84.4. Both of those measurements would put me into the “unhealthy” category according to many of the sources listed.
    I guess what bugs me the most is that it’s just another arbitrary way of assigning status (healthy or not-healthy) to people without considering a whole lot of other factors. Irritating.

  5. 5 On March 6th, 2008, Sandy said:

    I have read somewhere that belly fat is bad…depending on the KIND of belly fat you have. According to this book you have brown fat (I think that is what it is called) that hangs off of your stomach and if it gets too big then it can actually create hormones…it is that fat that is dangerous, not the white fat under your skin. The way you can tell is if you can suck your stomach in. If your stomach goes in, then all you have is the white fat, if it still sticks out then you have the other kind.


    Now, if someone can cite this or can disprove it…be my guest! But when I read it, it made sense to me…

  6. 6 On March 6th, 2008, apricotmuffins said:

    Ah, theres also the ‘if your waist measurement is bigger than 30something inches then you’re fat fat fatty and need to lose weight because of OMG DISEASES!1!!!1. I say 30something because the measurement for women has been anywhere between 30 and 35. for men it’s stayed pretty much constant at 37 ish. This pisses me off more than the waist/hip ratio because height has a large effect on how small your waist can be – and this completely disregards it. Its NOT a convenient measurement!

    The worst occasion i have seen this in is used on giant posters for diabetes research uk or someother charity, and it ANGERED me so much. Because no, it wasnt the other risk factors, it was the waist measurement they picked out. they had overweight in the list beneath it also – which enraged me further. It was pretty horrible and they were all over the train station i was sitting in. I ate a big caramel slice underneath one just to spite it.

  7. 7 On March 6th, 2008, Lillian said:

    I’m apple shaped so I my ratio is over .8 so I wouldn’t be healthy by this standard. I lose weight and it comes off my hips and thighs before it comes off my waist so the ratio goes up. I would have to lose a lot of weight before I could get that ratio in a healthy range. I currently have a 30 inch waist and 36 inch hips. The ratio is .83. Your lucky to have hips while I’m nearly straight down from my waist outside a little curve of my bottom.

  8. 8 On March 6th, 2008, Patsy Nevins said:

    I don’t think that anyone has any right to tell us anything about what ‘shape’ we should be…weight, BMI, WHR, or whatever, & that it is all crap. We all die eventually, most people get sick at some point, & people who live long lives come in all sizes, shapes, & body types. I personally come from a long line of long-lived fat people &, believe me, they didn’t get that by listening to people tell them that they had the ‘wrong’ body type or proportions. It’s marketing, pure & simple, & I want no part of it.

  9. 9 On March 6th, 2008, Kelly said:

    The site said that I need to lose weight through the South Beach even though my BMI indicates I’m underweight and my WHR is over the ideal. Nice :P I think I’ve finally realized 100% just how absurd all of these calculations and so called measurements are. Once again thanks for an awesome post!

  10. 10 On March 6th, 2008, Ducky said:

    All WHR accuracy debate aside, I’m stunned that this mathematical measure says I’m healthy. I’m just so used to every indicator but my own body telling me I’m gonna die.

    (On a side note, I also think it’s sweet that I have the WHR of the devil – .666)

  11. 11 On March 6th, 2008, sara said:

    interesting. so a child with a waist of 21 inches and hips of 21 inches would need to diet, hrmmm?

    stupid weight loss companies.

  12. 12 On March 6th, 2008, christie said:

    This was really interesting, thanks for sharing!

  13. 13 On March 7th, 2008, Emily said:

    I second what Kelly said. I’m under 110 lbs, with a 23.75 inch waist and 34.5 inch hips, and told me to lose weight. I played around with it, and it looks like it just tells you that no matter what.
    The Body Fat Percent calculator on that site also over reported my body fat % by almost 10% compared to when I did the calculation by hand based on the formula they say they use, so I think there are some pretty serious issues going on with that site.
    Nice work, that’s a really interesting observation.

  14. 14 On March 7th, 2008, Froth said:

    I’m unhealthy, apparently. And also pear-shaped, apparently, which I can’t square with the body in the mirror. Having a big bottom does not preclude having broad shoulders.
    The advice to lose weight seems odd. I’ve lost weight in the past couple of weeks due to being ill and it’s come off my bottom. My stomach looks much the same as it always did. So if I lose more weight, my waist-to-hip ratio will increase, and I’ll become more unhealthy by that measurement.

  15. 15 On March 7th, 2008, msruth said:

    The disparity in standards does not surprise me in the least, people will do anything to make money. I’m not sure how I feel about WHR because I carry pretty much all my excess fat on my tummy and if you look at my mother, my grandma, my sisters etc you can see it is genetics, no matter what our overall size it goes to our bellies in everyone of us. Also I think it’s even harder to change than weight, because when I was exercising like mad and eating stupidly little a day it goes from my hips and thighs before my belly. It feels like just another way of telling us our bodies are wrong and need improving.

  16. 16 On March 7th, 2008, wriggles said:

    Recent studies have indicated that it isn’t how much fat you have that contributes to weight-related health problems as it is where fat is stored, something which has been shown to be genetically pre-determined….

    Not only is being apple-shaped genetic, putting on weight disproportionately in this area is to some degree genetic. I also think researchers need to clear up how much emotions can affect weight gain in this area. I fall into this category and I’ve noticed that a lot of people gain weight disproportionately around the middle during or after traumas such as depression etc, metabolically it seems even more active that other fat sites and has an intense concentration of nerves. I think that it must have a special connection with the brain as of course the brain requires a large percentage of our energy intake.
    I’ve noticed that since I’ve got off the ‘obesity crisis’ train and started to see myself as a full human being again, I’ve found that this area has altered in me. I think there is a lot more to find out about this.

    Oh by the way, I’m not trying to pathologize the apple-shaped, I’m merely wondering whether any difference, or potential difference in health outcomes maybe structural.

  17. 17 On March 7th, 2008, StormFire said:

    @ wriggles:

    Yes, how much you weigh, where you carry it, and whether (from size 0 to infinity) you have a waist are all genetic, and about as easy to change as eye color was before they invented contact lenses.

    However, what I’ve gotten from family members in the medical field is that the body fat to be concerned about for health reasons is the *internal* body fat. And that the reason for that is that the fat inside your abdominal wall can interfere with your systemic balance.

    I apologize that this is from a “diabeetus” perspective, but that’s what my family worries about. (WAY too much family history of that)

    When you have a predisposition to diabetes, and start picking up visceral (internal abdominal) fat, it can press against and start “choking” the pancreas, which throws your hormone levels off kilter in a manner that which adjusts your metabolism to raise your blood sugar, which makes you pick up more visceral fat, presses against the pancreas, which… you get the idea. For diabetes anyway, it’s both a symptom and a cause (for those who have the predisposition, not necessarily for everyone) and can cause a vicious downward spiral that’s hard to stop.

    However, visceral fat has also been linked to high blood pressure, stress, high cholesterol, etc, and I haven’t heard anything on those that tells me one way or the other whether for those situations, it’s a symptom or a cause.

  18. 18 On March 7th, 2008, Bree said:

    I don’t even know what my measurements are, but I’m sure if did know and calculated them, the pro-diet sites would say I’m a ticking time bomb and to get WLS now.

    Most of my fat is in my thighs. My mom is the same way. She has lost weight, but not so much in her thighs. Many of my female relatives also have big thighs. When I lost weight due to illness, and dropped a few pounds here or there due to increased excercise during the warmer months, my waist got smaller but never my thighs. Everyone is different when it comes to fat. The medical industry needs to stop seeing all fat people as the same and get educated on what else causes our size instead of “y’all eat too damn much!”

  19. 19 On March 7th, 2008, ricki said:

    Sandy, the only “brown fat” I’ve ever heard of (I’m an ecologist) is a type of fat that hibernating mammals like woodchucks make. “Brown” fat in these mammals is brown because of a high density of mitochondria – the animals are able to metabolize the fat while they sleep in the winter to keep themselves warm. (It’s a modification of the normal energy-processing reactions that all mitochondria do).

    I have read it’s possible that adipose tissue affects hormone production, but the “brown fat and bad hormones” thing sounds a bit suspicious to me.

    And you know? I’m not at all surprised the diet-centric sites have arbitrarily chosen a lower waist to hip ratio cutoff. In fact, I’d not be AT ALL surprised if the sites that said “you must be .72 or less” to someone at .79 would say “You must be .66 or less” to someone who is at .7.. They’re selling their product using fear – whipping up fear of diseases (that may or may not strike), fear of the person being “OMG UNATTRACTIVE!”

  20. 20 On March 7th, 2008, Fatadelic said:

    Very interesting observations. I have no idea what my WHR is and I have no intention of calculating it, especially after reading the above.

  21. 21 On March 7th, 2008, Dancinghawk said:

    I’ve been highly suspicious of the waist-hip-ratio concept since I realized what you get with a ‘good’ one.

    A classic hourglass figure.

    Which is fine if that’s how you’re actually structured. Not gonna happen with me, though. Unless we want to go back to corseting as a form of managing a woman’s figure.

    (Does anybody else think “The Invisible Corset” would be a good title for a book on the diet industry and the Obesity Crisis(TM))?

  22. 22 On March 7th, 2008, Rachel said:

    FYI, folks – I’m not upholding WHR as the end-all, be-all standard of good health. I think it’s probably as faulty as BMI for some people. I just posted this to show the wide disparity in how different sites calculate WHR to fit their own agendas.

  23. 23 On March 7th, 2008, Charlotte said:

    You know, just out of curiosity, I calculated my BMI. It’s 37.44, which I believe (please correct me if I’m wrong) classifies me as obese. That would probably bother me a lot if I didn’t have FA and the research that shows what a bunch of b.s. the BMI is (When I was 13, our family doctor told me I was obese and it pretty much destroyed what little self esteem I had left).

    I really don’t appreciate sites like that…they feed off of the public’s fear of fat.

  24. 24 On March 7th, 2008, nonegiven said:

    “If your stomach goes in, then all you have is the white fat, if it still sticks out then you have the other kind.”

    BMI=obese, WHR=OK
    My stomach goes in a couple of inches when I suck it in, but since I have lost some weight, most of it just hangs down overlapping my crotch. Nobody warns you about that.

  25. 25 On March 7th, 2008, Lala said:

    I think it’s very interesting, and reflective of the attitudes of society at large, that the “ideal” WHR changed according to what site you were on only for women and not for men. Everytime it was listed for men, it was at least 0.9, and once 0.95! However, it went from 0.85 for women on some sites down to 0.72. Just another instance of society defining women according to their appearance in a way that it doesn’t apply to men.

  26. 26 On March 7th, 2008, Rachel said:

    I have no idea about white fat or brown fat or green fat for that matter. But when I lost weight during my ED, I lost a large amount rather rapidly and my skin couldn’t keep up. At my lowest weight I weighed 125 pounds, but at least 15 pounds of that was in loose skin. I’ve since regained weight, which helps, but I still have loose skin that I will never get rid of unless I have cosmetic surgery, which is out of the question.

    A lot of people who have WLS also have to deal with loose skin. I worked with a woman (I didn’t know her) who had WLS but didn’t have the money for a tummy tuck because insurance wouldn’t cover what they considered to be cosmetic surgery. If you get a hernia, however, insurance will cover the surgery to fix the hernia, plus doctors usually throw in a tummy tuck since they’re already working in that area. This woman deliberately tried to give herself a hernia by eating the wrong kinds of foods and she died.

  27. 27 On March 7th, 2008, Adessa said:

    Very good to see these various interpretations of WHR. As I’m a bit hypochondric I’m always afraid that my weight is going to kill me sooner or later, and when ‘they’ find a new way to calculate your health risks, I’m A Believer almost immidiately (luckily I’ve never had that with new diets, but things like BMI sound so scientifically right to me..). This blog and others slowly start to show me that being healthy has more to do with living in a healthy way than with the number shown by an online BMI or WHR calculator, or more importantly, that it might be better to listen to your own body instead of taking anything you read for granted. Still, the fact that my WHR is 0.9 freaks me out a bit…

  28. 28 On March 7th, 2008, Lexy said:

    re: WHR, when I was in college we had to take a health and fitness class and use all sorts of different methods to determine body fat and composition (calipers, BMI, WHR, and a couple others) The point of the exercise was to learn how inaccurate and disparate the different methods are.

    I can’t remember what my WHR was but it classified me as obese, I was a size 8.

    Oddly enough rather than teach me that it was an inacurate measure, I went on a diet… sometimes I wish I could hit my 18 y/o self.

    Currently, at a size 14 I have a healthy WHR… apparently all that weight is in the booty and hips.

  29. 29 On March 8th, 2008, Kym said:

    I’m a 94. I should start getting my affairs in order now because both the BMI and the WHR says I’m going to have a massive heart attack, devastating stroke, while shooting insulin. No matter if I eat “right” and continue to exercise.

    I guess it’s great news for pear shape women and I do believe pear shaped women are in the majority.

  30. 30 On March 8th, 2008, heartfire said:

    Anybody else notice how the diet sites chaged the WHR for women but the WHR for men stayed the same?

  31. 31 On March 8th, 2008, Mindy said:

    My WHR is .89. Like other posters, I lose fat in my lower body before I lose it in my belly and it’s always been that way. So, I can see my ratio going up even though I’ve technically lost weight.

    I had some belly fat even when I was a competitive swimmer and there was so little fat on my thighs that they couldn’t measure it with calipers. But, I guess I was unhealthy because I didn’t have a flat stomach. (rolls eyes)

  32. 32 On March 8th, 2008, Erica said:

    Wow, thank you for this experiment and these links. I was assuming that when I tried one of these, I’d get the same kind of gentle chiding I always get from anyone involved in the health profession – that my WHR, like everything else about me, would be something a doctor would say was unhealthy. I know I’m not pear-shaped, so I figured I had to have an “unhealthy” WHR.

    Well, according to the UPenn site, my WHR isn’t ideal, but it’s also just fine. It’s .86, which is apparently a perfectly reasonable “squash shape” (never heard that term before but I like it!) and while it may place me at higher risks, it’s not horrific. And that from doctors!

    And then it says “Good for you! Your current waist-hip ratio is not associated with significantly increased health risks. You can continue to maintain a healthy waist-hip ratio with good eating and exercise habits.” I’m actually having a hard time not crying. I think that’s maybe the first time ever anyone medical has said the words “good for you!” to me. Instead they always want to take and retake my blood pressure because they’re perplexed that I’m a fat woman with insulin resistance and I still have an ideal blood pressure. They always assume they must have measured wrong. This is the first time anything medical ever started from the presupposition that I might already be decently healthy and might want to focus on maintenance.

    I’m not saying this in the way of saying that folks with higher WHR should feel bad because my reading this external analysis of my own WHR made me feel good, but it’s just so damn nice to have *something* from the medical establishment tell me that my body is not automatically a death trap simply because I have never had and never will have a tiny waist or an hourglass figure.

  33. 33 On March 9th, 2008, sarah said:

    I was a little worried about my (whr). My hips have always been big no matter my weight. So I got out my mearsuring tape and viola! .741.

  34. 34 On March 9th, 2008, Cady said:

    I’m weirded out by the UPenn site’s “Good for you!” for those in the ‘healthy’ range.

    Good for you for lucking out in the genetic lottery? Good for you for being predisposed to a certain body shape?

    To me, this sounds the same as people congratulating anyone who’s thin for being healthy, no matter what their actual habits are.

    We may be genetically predisposed to be fat or thin, apple-shaped or pear-shaped, and any one of these may put us at a higher risk of some disease or another, but that doesn’t make one ‘good’, worthy of congratulations, and the other repugnant.

  35. 35 On March 9th, 2008, Erica said:

    Cady – I agree about the “good for you.” It’s weird. I was weirded out by my own emotional reaction to it. I think as fatties, we end up being so used to hearing negative stuff from doctors that it’s hard to take a “good for you” as being no more valid than a “you’re too fat and you need to do X Y Z to change things about yourself that are impossible to change.” It’s hard to turn off the part of ourselves that is starved for positive external reinforcement about our bodies.

  36. 36 On March 11th, 2008, spacedcowgirl said:

    Wow… this is really interesting, and I’m glad it occurred to you to try it out at these different sites. Of course I know most of the push for people to lose weight is driven by money pure and simple, but seeing a concrete example like this is really affecting.

    The fact that the men’s recommendation didn’t change, while the women’s did, is disgusting. I guess the sites thought women were both more likely to diet, and more willing to swallow whatever arbitrary standard they were given.

    As far as the “good for you” stuff (and I do totally get why some of you felt validated by finally getting a message other than “you’re going to die” so I’m not slamming that reaction), it’s sort of disturbing. I would think that even the most mainstream, fatphobic, “anti-JFS” weight/nutrition researcher would concede that your WHR is probably even much more difficult to change through diet and exercise than your BMI. Unless you’re going to have liposuction or other surgery to literally remove the “bad” visceral fat from your body, the ratio probably isn’t going to change a whole lot. So as some others have asked, why is the medical establishment giving you “credit” for something that even they would likely admit you have very little control over? It’s weird.

    The stress question is very interesting. When I left my job several months ago, I felt that I immediately lost a few pounds just from that, and they seemed to come from around my middle. But of course I have no scientific proof and I’m sure this is going to vary widely from person to person. I just think that we don’t give enough credence to stress as a major factor in people’s overall health.

  37. 37 On December 18th, 2008, You’ve come a long way, baby — or are we going backwards? » said:

    [...] more here. In fact, many researchers and doctors are now calling for the replacement of BMI with waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) as a more reliable indicator of weight-related health [...]

  38. 38 On June 15th, 2009, jodelle rossi said:

    I have been struggling with weight issues for the past 10 years now. I am frustrated and am looking for something that I can lose weight with that does not cost an arm and a leg but that will work and keep on working for me. can you help me?

  39. 39 On June 15th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Sorry, Jodelle. If you’re looking for diet plans or weight loss tips, you won’t find them here. If you’re looking for ways to improve your health and that will allow your body to settle into a healthy weight for you, I’d recommend reading up on a holistic approach called Health at Every Size. You can start by reading Linda Bacon’s book by the same title.

  40. 40 On July 22nd, 2009, The history of BMI and why we still use it » said:

    [...] points out (as I’ve noted before) that waist-to-hip ratios are a much more accurate way of determining the kinds of body fat that [...]

  41. 41 On July 8th, 2010, Jeeanea said:

    This scares me a bit. My waist measurement is between 26 and 27 inches, and my hips are 33 inches. But I do not look that round, or flabby. I weigh 104 pounds and they are telling me to lose weight? Yes, I do have a little extra fat around my middle but come on, not that much! I weight 104 pounds for christ sakes and they are telling me I’m unhealthy. Ooookay. Sure. This makes me feel great about myself.

  42. 42 On September 24th, 2010, Rita said:

    I haven’t read every single comment here but would like to say my body shape has changed from pear to apple. In my younger years I had a 26-inch waist and 36-inch hips and weighed about 125 pounds. A definite pear. Now I’m 62 years old and weigh 119 pounds. Hips still 36 inches but waist 30 inches and a nice roll of flab around my middle. A definite apple.
    So it’s not necessarily about genetics, as I often read. I believe it’s more about estrogen levels. Something about loss of estrogen causes your body fat to shift, and you start storing fat around your middle like men do, rather than around your hips like most women do.

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