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How can I determine my body type?

Knowing your body type can help you determine how and where to focus your weight loss efforts. When you get dressed, are you more apt to disguise your thighs or hide your belly? Considering these simple things can help you figure out if your body shape falls into an “apple” or “pear” category. Understanding where your body stores fat may help you strategize more effectively when it comes to weight loss.

A scientific method to figure out your body type is to calculate your waist-to-hip ratio. You only need a tape measure. Measure your health in inches and not so much in pounds.

Measure in inches the smallest part of your waist. If you’re overweight and apple-shape, your natural waist may be hidden, so measure one inch above your belly button. Then measure the widest part of your bottom half, which is the buttocks for some people and the thighs for others. Divide the waist number by the bottom number.

If you’re a man and your waist-­to-hip ratio is less than 0.9, then you are a pear. If you’re a woman and your waist-to-hip ratio is less than 0.8, you’re also a pear. The smaller the number the better -- higher numbers, or apple shapes, may mean more health problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.