Fat Distribution

In addition to BMI, it is helpful to know your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). This ratio determines your pattern of fat distribution, i.e., where you store body fat. The formula for calculating waist-to-hip ratio is:

Worksheet 1-4. Calculate Your Waist-to-Hip Ratio

waist circumference (inches) hip circumference (inches)

Table 1-3. Standards for Waist-to-Hip Ratios

Men Women

Measuring waist and hip circumferences using a tape measure.

Measuring waist and hip circumferences using a tape measure.

Adapted from OPNAVINST 6110.1E, March 1998 p.7-8.

The appropriate ratios for men and women are listed in Table 13. Ratios greater than these indicate a tendency toward central (torso) obesity. People who store excess fat centrally, as opposed to in their extremities, are at increased risk for cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases and diabetes.

This chapter serves as an anchor around which the remaining chapters have been developed. In the following chapters you will learn sound nutritional practices and ways to enhance your physical performance. Importantly, you will see how good nutrition and a balanced exercise program together influence your physical fitness, military readiness, and ultimately your overall health.

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