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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

Arthur D. Stewart

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.


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:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 10, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2018
Publication Date Jan 31, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 26, 2019
Journal Research in sports medicine
Print ISSN 1543-8627
Electronic ISSN 1543-8635
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 15-26
Keywords Allometric models; Waist to height ratios; Abdominal skinfolds; Healthy weight
Public URL


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