Measuring body fullness correctly: BMI & Co.

The impact of weight on health can be calculated in a number of ways. The tape measure says more than the scales, because the waist-to-hip ratio also includes your physique

As with a tailor: measurement of the waist circumference

© stocksy / Alina Hvostikova

Professor Norbert Stefan, diabetes expert, demonstrates how to measure the hip circumference

© W & B / Bernhard Kahrmann

Waist circumference: Measure of belly fat

  • Measure: Measure in the middle between the iliac crest and the lowest costal arch. Exhale beforehand, look ahead.
  • Evaluation: A value of less than 80 cm is considered ideal for European women and less than 94 cm for men. Obesity is when the waist circumference is at least 88 cm for women and at least 102 cm for men.
  • Assess: The waist size takes into account that belly fat is particularly dangerous. Because it is usually also found in the organs when the values ​​are elevated.

Waist-to-hip ratio: Hip fat with an eye

  • Measure: The waist circumference (see below) is divided by the hip circumference. The latter is measured at the level of the large roll mound of the thigh bone, roughly speaking: the widest point in the hip area.
  • Evaluation: The quotient should ideally be below 0.8 for women and below 0.95 for men. Women over 0.85 are at high risk. in men from 1.
  • Assess: Some experts consider this value to be even more meaningful than the waist circumference, but the measurement is less practical.

Waist-hip quotient: After the measurement, divide the waist circumference by the hip circumference

© W & B / Michelle Günther

Body Mass Index (BMI): A good guide

  • Measure: The BMI is calculated as follows:

Body weight (kg)
Height (m) x height

  • Evaluate:
    Example: man or woman, 70 kg heavy, 1.73 m tall: 70 / 2.99 = 23.4
    Values ​​between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered normal weight. From 25 one speaks of overweight, from 30 of obesity.
  • Rate:
    The BMI does not take into account age, gender, muscle mass or body fat distribution. It can therefore be misleading, but is a good guide in the obesity area.

Type question: The different types of obesity

© W & B / Michelle Günther


© W & B / Michelle Günther

Apple type The body fat is found mainly in the abdominal area, especially often in the internal organs. This greatly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

© W & B / Michelle Günther

Pear type The fat is mainly deposited in the hip area, buttocks and thighs. The cardiovascular risk is lower than with the apple type.

© W & B / Michelle Günther

Muscular type Although he appears to be too heavy, he is less at risk because a lot of fat has been replaced by muscle.

© W & B / Michelle Günther

Olive type with a stem. Very thin legs, but a lot of belly fat. The cardiovascular risk is probably even greater than with the apple type.


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