Waist To Hip Ratio and Different Body Shapes

Waist hip ratio and fertility is there a link 2


Why is waist to hip ratio important?

Dear Friends,

In my last post I discussed how to measure Waist to Hip Ratio [WHR]. If you have not read it, you can do so here-

Now that we know how to measure it,we will proceed ahead to know why it is important fro our health point of view.

Let’s learn a bit more about waist to hip ratio and different body shapes

Different body shapes according to waist to hip ratio [whr]

As said earlier, WHR for men should be below 0.9 and for women below 0.5. Any value above this points to overweight and obesity.

As far as the shape of body is concerned,apple-shaped body is considered as Central Obesity which is more dangerous than pear-shaped body which is also obesity but with  lesser bad effects.

Apple shaped body and WHR

An apple-shaped body is characterized by excess abdominal fat and a larger waist circumference compared to the hips. This body shape is commonly found in obese individuals.

The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a measure used to assess this body shape. It is calculated by dividing the waist circumference by the hip circumference.

In apple-shaped individuals, the WHR is typically higher, indicating a higher proportion of abdominal fat.

This body shape is associated with increased health risks, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

The Pear Shaped Body…..

A pear-shaped body of an obese person is characterized by having excess weight primarily in the lower half of the body, such as the hips, thighs, and buttocks, while the upper body remains relatively slimmer.

This body shape is often associated with a higher waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), which is calculated by dividing the waist circumference by the hip circumference.

In this type of body shape, the WHR is comparatively less than apple shaped body and so the risks mentioned above are lesser.

Individuals with a higher WHR, indicating a pear-shaped body, may face certain health risks. Research suggests that having excess fat in the lower body, particularly around the hips and thighs, may be linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases compared to those with excess abdominal fat or apple shaped body.

An hourglass shaped body

An hourglass body shape is characterized by a well-defined waistline that is narrower than the bust and hips. The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) for an hourglass figure is typically close to 0.7, meaning the waist circumference is about 70% of the hip circumference.

How is apple shaped body harmful to our health?

Now we shall discuss how apple-shaped body causes harm to our health. As mentione above, Apple shaped or central obesity refers to accumulation of fats around the belly i.e. fats in this type of obesity surrounds the internal organs of the abdomen.

The waist circumference of men should ideally be below 90 cm. and that of women should be below 80 cm.  

Anything above these values can lead to:-

  1. Diabetes
  2. Hypertension
  3. CAD[coronary arterial disease]–a condition where the blood vessels supplying blood to heart develop blocks which can lead to heart attack.
  4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea —a condition wherein the sleep is disturbed due to difficulty in breathing leading to fatigue during daytime. Person having sleep apnea is found to snore a lot,disturbing sleep of other family members.
  5. Osteoarthritis of Knee joint
  6. Gastroesophageal reflux disease—increased acidity in the stomach leading to reflux of acid from the stomach into the food-pipe[esophagus] causing a condition often referred to as “heart-burn”.
  7. Some cancers like that of uterus, breast [in women]and colon[large intestine]


In conclusion, I would like to say that having an hourglass shaped body is any time better than being apple shaped, or pear shaped, and we should strive to achieve it.

Even though it is difficult to achieve it if you are already having extremely high WHR, with proper diet, lifestyle changes and guidance from your family physician, you can still reduce your WHR.

These are some of the bad effects of central obesity which I will discuss in my future blogs. In my next blog, we will learn about body fat measurements and its importance.

If any of you feel that you may be having any features of obesity, kindly visit your family physician for a thorough assessment and advice to overcome your problem.

I hope I have explained how WHR influences our body shape. Do share this article with your friends and family to promote my blogs. Alternately, you can just click to tweet here-

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