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Your Waist Measurement Should Be 'Less Than Half Of Your Height', NHS Says

Your Waist Measurement Should Be 'Less Than Half Of Your Height', NHS Says

Many people measure their BMI, but this method is 'simple, effective and truer'

Your waistline should be less than half your height, according to the NHS's new weight guidelines.

Anyone who's set foot on a Wii Fit board knows the anguish of having your body mass index (BMI) calculated: some people may have been told they were a healthy weight, while others found out they were supposedly overweight or obese. I still cheated at the chair pose, though.

However, while BMI is a commonly-used measure of health, it's been vastly criticised over the years for not accounting for body fat distribution and other factors.

Your waistline should be less than half your height.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), an agency of the NHS, has proposed an overhaul of obesity management guidelines, which haven't been revised for eight years.

Specifically, it's asking adults to use a tape measure to check their waist circumference and compare it with their height. In theory, you should 'keep your waist to less than half your height', reports The Times.

Nice has also echoed criticism of using your BMI as it isn't necessarily accurate, while your waist measurement is a 'simple and effective' way to assess whether a person is overweight.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “Nice has finally endorsed a measurement that obesity specialists have advocated since 2015.”

One's waist-to-height ratio is considered a better measure as it better illustrates excess stomach fat, known to be a precursor to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes – even for those who have a 'healthy' BMI.

The NHS weight guidelines haven't been revised since 2014.

For example, I'm 6ft, which equates to 74 inches, and my waistline is 34 inches. So, I'm just within the healthy range - if my waistline exceeds 36 inches while I'm my current height, I would be considered overweight.

More importantly, doctors will also be advised to not 'fat-shame' patients and ask their permission before discussing weight, to 'reduce the substantial stigma associated with obesity'.

Nice said: "The substantial stigma associated with obesity has negative effects on people’s mental and physical health, which can lead to further weight gain and make people less likely to engage with healthcare practitioners."

In 2019, the Health Survey for England estimated around a third of adults (28 percent) in England to be obese and 36.2 percent to be overweight, with those aged 45-74 most likely to be overweight or obese. A survey wasn't conducted the next year due to the pandemic.

The new obesity guidelines will remain open to public consultation until 11 May this year.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Alamy

Topics: Health, UK News