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Is waist-to-hip ratio mostly determined by genetics?

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  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,154 Member Member Posts: 6,154 Member
    Here is a waist to height calculator. It may give a different slant on things.

    https://www.health-calc.com/body-composition/waist-to-height-ratio

    Cheers, h.

    This is interesting. I put in my stats and it says to "take care." I've always been smaller on-top though and my weight to height is fine. I wonder how good of a guide it is on average.

    Yeah, it's equally rubbish for me. I need to take care as well. I'd like to note that I have very little fat on my waist. Actually, there's a sharp big edge between pelvis and waist, and my waist circumference only happens to be 'big' because there is very little space between my very wide pelvis bones and my ribcage. Rubbish.
  • middlehaitchmiddlehaitch Member Posts: 8,284 Member Member Posts: 8,284 Member
    Personally I think all these (BMI, waist to hip, waist to height, etc) are reasonable general indicators. But, when it gets down to the nitty gritty, only the individual and their medical consultant(s) can determine if concern is needed, or action needs to be taken.

    Here is a bit of a read.....

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177175
    (I am sure there are tons more)

    Not a scientist, cheers, h.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 6,185 Member Member Posts: 6,185 Member
    Here is a waist to height calculator. It may give a different slant on things.

    https://www.health-calc.com/body-composition/waist-to-height-ratio

    Cheers, h.

    This is interesting. I put in my stats and it says to "take care." I've always been smaller on-top though and my weight to height is fine. I wonder how good of a guide it is on average.

    Take care is what it says when it thinks your waist is too small, not too large.
  • AzdakAzdak Member Posts: 8,281 Member Member Posts: 8,281 Member
    The ratio is going to be based on your body shape. If you are naturally apple shaped you will likely have a higher W-H ratio than someone who is pear shaped. Some people use W-H as a substitute for BMI in order to indicate healthiness. My understanding is that a higher W-H ratio is also correlated with higher risk for heart disease, so they do matter.

    I've heard the same, which concerns me a bit. That's why I was wondering if there was much I could do to impact it.

    You have already done a huge amount to “impact” it by losing the weight. I think a higher W/H ratio is more of an indicator of higher-risk conditions than a cause per se. If you are losing weight, have normal blood pressure and normal blood sugar levels, then any “risk” from a higher W/H ratio will be greatly diminished. Just artificially lowering that ratio if you are at normal weight will have little benefit.
  • Francl27Francl27 Member Posts: 26,373 Member Member Posts: 26,373 Member
    I do have to wonder about how true it is. I fail to see how someone who has a naturally larger waist will be more at risk than someone who has a small waist, at the same body percentage... it makes absolutely no sense to me. Sounds to me like one of those things that doctors made up to scare people into losing weight, to be honest.

    At my lowest I was at 29 inch waist, 35 inch hips, for what it's worth. I do have loose skin that impacts those numbers though, but still. Will never hit that healthy ratio, lol.
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 13,347 Member Member Posts: 13,347 Member
    I think waist and hips are mostly genetics.

    My waist at its smallest was 25" and that was when I was in my early 20's, fast forward to late 40s and its now a tad bigger at 25.5 and my hips are 34-35" (last I checked). I weighed around 120lbs in my early 20's and I weigh 125lbs now. (the in between years I got as heavy as 154lbs and my waist was as big as 31" and my hips 40"). As I lost weight the weight came off me fairly evenly.
  • netitheyetinetitheyeti Member Posts: 538 Member Member Posts: 538 Member
    the only thing that ever changed my waist/hip ratio was that one year that I got *really* into working out and I guess my body fat % dropped a lot while my weight barely changed
    7nxjbj8rxb59.jpg

    my mom also has really wide hips and a fairly small waist and the ratio seems pretty constant even when she loses or gains some weight
  • collectingbluescollectingblues Member Posts: 2,540 Member Member Posts: 2,540 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    W8WarI wrote: »
    Might I suggest, you determine; your frame size 1st? I use this:

    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/17182.htm

    Since there's 3 frame sizes, I subtract my highest healthiest weight via my lowest then; divide the difference by 3 because the standard weight range, includes all; frame sizes!

    This assigns, an even amount of weight; to each frame size & then I chose, the weight ratio; within my frame size!

    & congratulations!

    This sort of thing soooo doesn't work for me. I'm 5'5", have huge hands (ring finger = size 10 at BMI under 20, 13-ish when fat!), 6.5" wrists (when thin - more when fat).

    This would suggest, according to such calculators, medium to - more likely - large frame. Not so.

    At my recent lowest, BMI 19.4, 116.8 pounds, I had narrow 34.75 hips, wider 26.25" waist, and was far from skeletal, though I prefer to weigh around 120. Not an apple, but not Twiggy (for those who remember her ;) ), either. Even though the wrists say large frame, the important parts, hips and torso, say small frame.

    Bodies are individual, even idiosyncratic.

    Yup. Whereas you have me, 5'4", mid 120s, 34.5 bust, 34.5 hips ... and one heck of a rib cage with a 32" underbust, and a waist of 28.5 inches where the rib cage ends and my waist technically is (I'm short waisted -- those silly organs have to go somewhere!). My pelvis is fairly narrow, but thanks to varsity swim in high school, I've got shoulders like a linebacker, and my grandfather's rib cage.

    Wrist? Pretty tiny. Elbow? Widest part of my arms.

    Depending on what calculator I use, I either get small (if it's wrist based) or large. I'd never consider myself large framed, but I am definitely not as petite as my wrist, hips and bust would have you believe.
    edited February 2018
  • MrsPinterest34MrsPinterest34 Member Posts: 337 Member Member Posts: 337 Member
    I agree with others it's based on genetics. I'm sure weight training can help with the ratio but I'm not sure how significant of an impact. If you were born pear-shaped, ruler, apple, or hourglass that's pretty much your shape for life. You can't really change your bone structure. I actually want to increase my ratio just little but it's not happening. I have wide hip bones. At 175lb, size12-14, my waist was 30in and hips 48in. My W:H ratio was 0.6. After losing 36 pounds, currently I'm 139lbs, my waist is 26.5 inch and hips 42.5in and my ratio is 0.62. Not really much of a difference after losing 36 pounds. I'm just going to embrace my pear shape for life. Great job on the weight loss op and keep it up!
  • estherdragonbatestherdragonbat Member Posts: 5,285 Member Member Posts: 5,285 Member
    That's more or less what I was expecting. It's a serenity prayer thing: "Grant me the serenity to accept the risk factors I cannot change, the courage/determination/knowledge to change the ones I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

    I know just shedding the extra pounds and getting more fit have done a lot to improve my health and reduce the risks, but I was curious as to whether there was anything else. (I'm doing progressive strength training, too, so there's that.) If not, then I guess it's serenity time and I'll keep working on hitting goal and if the W-H ratio shrinks, it'll be a bonus!
  • HoneyBadger155HoneyBadger155 Member Posts: 1,460 Member Member Posts: 1,460 Member
    You can add me to the group where yes, it's body type.

    I'm heavier right now than I should be, and I fall in the "okay" ratio range.

    At my lightest, I am just barely in the "okay" range according to the ratio charts.

    I can promise you I am much healthier at the lighter weight LOL. I'm a natural apple, but lose my weight "from the top down" so right now my upper body is getting pretty trim, while my belly and thighs aren't moving too much at all. My love handles I think are starting to shrink (need to start measuring them), but waist has steadily been shrinking.
  • MamaMc3MamaMc3 Member Posts: 206 Member Member Posts: 206 Member
    I've lost about 90 lbs, and I'd like to lose about 65 more. I am losing it proportionately, too. I've always been an apple shape, and I'm definitely still the same general body shape. I don't expect to ever have a "small" waist, but hopefully working out and losing the rest of my weight will help improve my waist/hip ratio.
  • pinuplovepinuplove Member Posts: 12,903 Member Member Posts: 12,903 Member
    I think once you're at a healthy weight, yes, it is determined largely by your bone structure. Serenity to accept the things you cannot change is definitely called for here :smile:

    My current w/h ratio is .74, yet I'm still 15 pounds above the top of the healthy BMI range for my weight, and if I were to test my body fat I have no doubt it would reveal what I already know - that I am a squishy jelly belly :wink: This is just one piece of the puzzle.
    edited February 2018
  • estherdragonbatestherdragonbat Member Posts: 5,285 Member Member Posts: 5,285 Member
    The big concern with the W/H and W/Ht ratios is visceral fat, not subcutaneous fat. So if genetics put you outside the parameters I don't think there is a lot to be concerned about.

    That jiggly stuff is not as concerning as the solid fat that is under the muscle and between the organs.

    Fortunately, on a deficit, the visceral fat is utilized first. That is why guys with a 'beer' belly look as though they have lost a lot of weight fast, it is mainly visceral fat.

    @estherdragonbat, in 15lbs I am expecting a big story in the success sub-forum with lots of pics. <3

    Cheers, h.

    Maybe not riiiiiiiiiiiiiight then, but I will! I want to get a little bit deeper into the range so I've got a buffer against normal weight fluctuations. :D
  • mph323mph323 Member Posts: 3,481 Member Member Posts: 3,481 Member
    I'm average, and, interestingly enough, my goal weight is right about there already. (I'm 5'3"; the range is 108-140. I'm on a wait-list for an RD, but if I reach 130 before I meet with them, my plan has always been to shift to maintenance there.)

    Hi, I'm 5'3" too, and around 108 lbs (just started maintenance). I had a DXA scan a couple of weeks ago and I have a waist-to-hip ratio of .88, at 24.8 body fat. I'm virtually straight down from my ribs to my thighs, so I vote genetics :(
  • Duchy82Duchy82 Member Posts: 558 Member Member Posts: 558 Member
    It is an interesting question and I didn't actually know whether my waist to hip ratio had changed turns out at my first ever measurement it was 0.71 and now 0.7 so it seems fat loss has been very consistent all over. Using @middlehaitch waist to height link i apparently am ok at 0.43, looking at bmi still overweight and no idea about frame size.

    I guess most of it is genetics, I can't make my hip bones any smaller ;)
  • JanetReynaJanetReyna Member Posts: 291 Member Member Posts: 291 Member
    I know this is really old, but this discouraged me so much. I wish it is really my dream to have bigger hips because mine are narrow and I gain weight mostly from my top. I hate those darn genetics, sometimes I highly think about getting lipo the results are amazing if you keep a healthy lifestyle! Some things suck when it comes to genetics, I wish I was more bottom heavy than top heavy. Fat arms, big stomach and fat back is sooooo unattractive:(
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 23,806 Member Member Posts: 23,806 Member
    JanetReyna wrote: »
    I know this is really old, but this discouraged me so much. I wish it is really my dream to have bigger hips because mine are narrow and I gain weight mostly from my top. I hate those darn genetics, sometimes I highly think about getting lipo the results are amazing if you keep a healthy lifestyle! Some things suck when it comes to genetics, I wish I was more bottom heavy than top heavy. Fat arms, big stomach and fat back is sooooo unattractive:(

    It sounds like you need to lose weight first. How many pounds before you reach your goal weight? I wouldn't consider lipo until you've maintained your goal weight for at least two years.

    Also, you can boost your lower body - are you familiar with "Glute Guy" Bret Contreras?

    Strong Curves: A Woman's Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body

    I wouldn't consider that a beginner program. If you are new to working out, I recommend spending some time with a trainer in a gym first.
  • SlayLikeAWarriorSlayLikeAWarrior Member Posts: 85 Member Member Posts: 85 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    Oh wow that's awesome, great job on the loss!

    For the most part it is genetic, a lot of it has to do with bone structure. However, strength training while you lose can help maintain muscle to help, but it is no guarantee. Bodybuilding (putting on muscle) can change it to some extent.. you can increase the size of your glutes (which affects the hips). You can also build up your lats and upper body to give you more of an hour-glass shape. At my leanest I had more of a straight shape, now after building my legs/glutes I am more curvy. Of course this will still depend on genetics and how you put on muscle.

    This can all take years and years though.

    Excellent advise Sardelsa!
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