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A new waist-to-height ratio predicts abdominal adiposity in adults.

Nevill, Alan M.; Stewart, Arthur D.; Olds, Tim; Duncan, Michael J.


Alan M. Nevill

Tim Olds

Michael J. Duncan


Our aim was to identify the best anthropometric index associated with waist adiposity. The six weight-status indices included body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHTR), and a new waist-by-height0.5 ratio (WHT.5R). The association between three waist skinfolds and the six anthropometric indices was conducted using ANCOVA, MANCOVA, allometric modelling and non-linear regression. The strongest predictors of waist adiposity were (1st) WHT.5R, (2nd) WHTR, (3rd) waist circumference (WC), (4th) BMI, (5th) WHR, and lastly (6th) a body shape index ABSI = WC/(BMI2/3 * height1/2). The allometric and non-linear regression analyses identified the optimal waist-to-height ratio associated with waist adiposity to be (waist * height -0.6). The 95% confidence intervals of the height exponents encompassed -0.5 but excluded -1.0 assumed by WHTR. Assuming that excess waist adiposity is an important cardiovascular risk factor, we recommend that the new WHT.5R be used to advise people how to maintain a 'healthy' weight.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 31, 2020
Journal Research in sports medicine
Print ISSN 1543-8627
Electronic ISSN 1543-8635
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 15-26
Institution Citation NEVILL, A.M., STEWART, A.D., OLDS, T. and DUNCAN, M.J. 2020. A new waist-to-height ratio predicts abdominal adiposity in adults. Research in sports medicine [online], 28(1), pages 15-26. Available from:
Keywords Allometric models; Waist to height ratios; Abdominal skinfolds; Healthy weight


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