How do I measure my waist size and waist-to-hip ratio?

Use a cloth measuring tape and place it around the waist at the belly button and measure the circumference. Then place the tape around the widest parts of your hips, usually at the top where the hip bones are located. Calculate the ration between these two measurements. Generally speaking women should have a waist to hip ratio of .7 and men should have a waist to hip ratio of .9 is ideal for health.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
To measure your waist size, put a tape measure around your body at the belly button level. (That is what we are calling "waist size.") It's a serious warning sign if you're a women and it's over 35 inches or a man and over 40 inches because you probably have side effects of obesity. (Abdominal obesity, fat around your middle, is usually associated with increased inflammation of the blood vessels and almost certain aging of the arteries and immune system.) To determine your waist/hip ratio, measure your waist and measure your hip size (in the area where you hip bones are). Then divide your waist by your hip size (it's best to use a calculator). The ratio ages you if it is greater than 0.85 for women or greater than 0.95 for men. (So, the fatter your waist in comparison to your hips, the more aging -- "the apple shape" ages more than the "pear shaped" person. We know this relates at least in part to more inflammation and that the fat cells of the abdomen secrete more substances that cause inflammation, but we do not know why this occurs.) For each 0.01 greater than those numbers, your RealAge (physiologic age) is about a half a year older.
The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

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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.