Relationship of Waist Circumference, Waist Hip Ratio and Body Mass Index as Predictors of Obesity among Elderly Population of Sunsari & Morang Districts of Nepal

Yadav P, Jha CB, Koirala S, Yadav D, Baral DD


Background: Body Mass Index (BMI) has gained international acceptance as a standard for recognition and classification of overweight and obesity.  Waist Hip Ratio (WHR) is a method for assessing abdominal fat. Waist Circumference (WC) alone is a simpler way of assessing for abdominal fat and has been shown be superior to WHR in determining health risks. The aim of this study was to find out the anthropometric parameter that is associated more significantly with BMI in non-obese and obese subjects.

Materials and Methods: Data were collected from the population of 600. Each gender consisted of 150 Mongoloid and Tharu males and 150 Mongoloid and Tharu females. WC ≥102.0 cm and ≥88.0 cm; WHR ≥1.00 and ≥ 0.85 were classified as obese for male & female respectively. BMI≥ 26Kg/m2 was considered obese. Sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated to evaluate predictive capacity.

Result: WC has a strong predictive capacity compared to WHR for obesity in both sex as WC more precisely rules out those individuals who don’t have obesity (Specificity 100%; 93%, negative predictive value 82%, 94%). WHR exhibited a poor predictive ability for obesity in both sexes. In males, sensitivity and PPV both are low (36.5%; 48.9%) and in females though the sensitivity is fairly high (92.18%) the PPV is low (29.20%) as well as the specificity is low (39.40%).

Conclusion: The study provides strong evidence that WC is preferable over WHR in studies dealing with BMI.

Key Words: Waist circumference, Waist Hip ratio, Body Mass Index, Obesity