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What does the waist to hip ratio determine?

Neal D. Barnard, MD
Psychiatry
The waist to hip ratio determines if a person is carrying too much dangerous belly fat, also called visceral fat. Watch as Neal Barnard, MD, explains why we need to be concerned about visceral fat around the waist, vs. fat in our hips and thighs.
There is a strong correlation between the amount of fat stored in your midsection (visceral fat) and risk level for chronic diseases.  Generally, risk increases as your waist becomes similar in size or larger than your hips.   Waist to hip ratio measures the difference between your waist and hip measurements, to analyze your level of risk.  

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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.