Waist-to-height ratio advice questioned: National health guidance is ‘misleading’ claim University health experts.
Health researchers in the West Midlands demonstrate how the latest guidance provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to ‘keep the size of your waist to less than half of your height’ may be harmful advice.
Alan Nevill, Research Professor in the Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing at the University of Wolverhampton has been working in collaboration with colleagues Michael J. Duncan and Tony Myers to identify body-shape characteristics associated with health risks such as Diabetes.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently released its latest guidelines to access and predict health risks such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
Their latest advice is ‘keep the size of your waist to less than half of your height’ – advice university experts have found to be flawed and will seriously and unfairly penalize shorter people and lull taller people into a false sense of security.
Project Lead, Alan Nevill, Research Professor in the Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing at the University of Wolverhampton said: “A short 5ft female whose waist is 31 inches might become unduly stressed because their waist circumference is greater than the recommended 30 inches.
“In contrast, a tall 6ft 6 male whose waist is 38 inches may feel entirely comfortable given that his waist circumference is less than the recommended 39 inches.
“Although the guidance may relate to some individual cases, we have already established that no ‘one size fits all’ to accurately predicting cardiometabolic risk.”
NICE added the waist-to-height ratio to its draft guideline after looking at evidence from several studies which showed that, alongside BMI, it could be used to assess and predict weight-related conditions in all ethnicities and sexes.
Nevill, Duncan and Myers state there is no ‘one size fits all’ in accurately predicting cardiometabolic risk and have been continuing to explore how to best predict health outcomes since discovering BMI is unfit for purpose earlier this year.