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Family Health

Healthy Measurements

The FitFamily team frequently writes about BMI, or body mass index as a indicator of obesity. There are smartphone apps for calculating that number, plus online BMI calculators like the one at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website which includes a separate calculator for children 2 through 19 years old.

A BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 is in the normal range for adults; 25 – 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

Here are some other ways to assess your health beyond your BMI or the fluctuations of the bathroom scale. Just grab a tape measure to assess your cardiovascular risk factors.

Waist-to-stature Ratio
Measure it: Compare the number of inches in the circumference of your waist to the number of inches in your height.
Understand it: Your waist circumference should not exceed half of your height.

Waist-to-hip Ratio
Measure it: Measure your waist at its smallest point, then your hips at their greatest circumference (at the buttocks). Divide our waist circumference by your hip circumference.
Understand it: Women should aim for a ratio lower than .86; men should shoot for lower than .95.

Waist Circumference
Measure it: Stand tall and wrap a tape measure snugly around your waist. Breathe out and be sure you’re measuring above your hip bones.
Understand it: Cardiovascular risk is greater for women with a measurement larger than 35 inches; for men the number is 40 inches.

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