A Banner Publication
December 3, 2009 – Vol. 4 • No. 4
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How do you measure up?

Almost two-thirds of adults in this country
are overweight or obese. Are you one of them?

1 Determine your Body Mass Index.

Although the Body Mass Index (BMI), a calculation based on height and weight, helps measure a person’s “desirable” weight, it is not always accurate. Athletic people with well-developed muscles often have a BMI higher than normal because muscle weighs more than fat. However, when combined with other measurements, such as waist size, the BMI is a helpful tool in determining whether a person should lose weight to reduce health risks.

To calculate your BMI, click here.

2 Measure your waist circumference.
Accumulation of weight around and above the waist (apple-shaped) rather than the hips and buttocks (pear-shaped) increases a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease.

To accurately measure your waist:
• Place a tape measure around your bare abdomen just above your hip bone

• Be sure the tape is snug but does not push into your skin

• Check to make sure the tape measure is level all the way around

• Relax, breathe out and measure your waist.

Desirable Waist Measurements
Women: 35 inches or less
Men: 40 inches or less

3 Calculate your waist to hip ratio.
• Measure your waist following the directions above

• Measure the circumference of your hips at the widest part of your buttocks.

• Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

Desirable Measurements
Women: .80 or below
Men: .90 or below

To calculate whether you are apple-shaped or pear-shaped, click here.

4 Calculate your disease risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease
relative to your BMI and waist circumference.

For the next steps, click here.