Discover five health risk assessments to determine your healthy weight and weight-related health risks.
Five Health Risk Assessments
You can determine your health risks with the following five health risk assessments:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) determines your healthy weight based on your height.
- Waist-to-Hip-Ratio (WHR) assesses your overweight health risk by measuring the circumference of your waist and hips.
- Waist Circumference (WC) measures your waist circumference to determine overweight health risk.
- The Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) determines if you have a healthy weight based on your waist and height.
- Body Fat Percentage measures your percent body fat to assess your weight status and fitness level.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The first health risk assessment is Body Mass Index (BMI). Discover your healthy weight range based on your height. You can select from heights of 4′ 4″ to 6′ 8″. Find your BMI weight status categories, including underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese.
For example, the height of the average US man is 5-foot 9-inch. The healthy weight range for this height is 125 lbs to 168 lbs. If you weigh 124 lbs or less, you are underweight. However, if you are 169 lbs to 202 lbs, you are overweight. Moreover, if you weigh 203 lbs or more, you are obese.
BMI for Height 5ft 9in
|Weight Range||BMI||Weight Status|
|124 lbs or less||Below 18.5||Underweight|
|125 lbs to 168 lbs||18.5 to 24.9||Healthy Weight|
|169 lbs to 202 lbs||25 to 29.9||Overweight|
|203 lbs or more||30||Obese|
Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)
The second health risk assessment is the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). You can use whatever units of measure you want as long as you use the same units for the waist and hips. For example, you can measure your waist and hips using inches. I’m a man with a 33″ waist and 39″ hips and have a WHR of .846 (33/39). Thus, I’m a healthy weight because my WHR is less than .90.
However, if a man has a 36″ waist and 39″ hips, his WHR of .923 (36/39) would make him overweight. Moreover, if the man’s waist exceeded his hips (40/39), he would be obese.
Please refer to the German Journal of Sports Medicine table for women’s Waist-to-Hip Ratios. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines abdominal obesity for men at a WHR of more than 0.90.
Waist Circumference (WC)
The third first health risk assessment is waist circumference (WC). The CDC says an adult man with a WC of more than 40 inches may be “at greater risk of developing obesity-related conditions.” Furthermore, a non-pregnant woman with a WC of more than 35 inches may have the same health risks.
For example, a woman with a 36-inch waist and a man with a 41-inch waist may be at risk for:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
The CDC provides instructions on how to correctly measure your waist.
The fourth first health risk assessment is the Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR). To calculate WHtR, you divide your waist’s circumference by your height using the same units. For example, a 33-inch waist divided by 74-inch height equals 0.45. This person’s WHtR indicates a healthy weight status for men and women. Look up your Waist-to-Height Ratio in the chart to determine your weight status.
A published study shows WHtR is significantly better than WC and BMI at detecting cardiometabolic risk factors. Statistical evidence shows WHtR is a better screening tool in men and women for the following health risks:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids in the blood)
- Cardiovascular disease
Body Fat Percentage
The fifth and final first health risk assessment is body fat percentage. You can buy an inexpensive skinfold caliper on Amazon. It measures the thickness of your skinfold in millimeters. Then you look up your caliper measurement in the provided Body Fat % Chart. For example, I’m a 47-year-old man with a 2-3mm measurement and the chart shows my body fat at 7.7%.
However, a more convenient way to measure body fat is to weigh yourself on a smart digital scale that uses bioelectrical impedance. The RENPHO premium scale displays your weight, BMI, and percent body fat. It uses Wi-Fi to connect and save your data on your smartphone RENPHO app.
After you measure your body fat percentage, use the ACE (American Council on Exercise) table for a description. If you are a woman with over 32% body fat or a man with over 25% body fat, you are obese. However, if you are a female athlete, your body fat percent is 14-20%. Likewise, if you are a male athlete, your body fat percent is 6-13%.
I measured my body fat today using this RENPHO scale, and my body fat percentage is 11.0%. Thus, I have an athletic body fat percentage.