ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Importance Of Waist Hip Ratio And Insulin Resistance In Diabetes

Updated on February 14, 2016

Above normal Waist-Hip Ratio increases the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart problems


Diabetes is a disease of the endocrine system. Overweight people, especially those with an increased waist-hip ratio, are at risk of developing insulin resistance, and later on diabetes as a long-term consequence. Diabetes presents as abnormally high blood sugar levels increased thirst, an increased frequency of urination and increased infections. In diabetes, either there is a deficiency or total lack of hormone insulin, or the body resists actions of this hormone.

Link between obesity and diabetes

  • Upper body obesity is a greater health hazard than lower body obesity.
  • Overweight individuals with a Waist Circumference >102 cm in men and >88 cm in women; or a Waist Hip Ratio >1.0 in men and >.85 in women, have an increased risk of diabetes, stroke and heart problems.
  • Obesity is a common cause of insulin resistance.
  • Excess insulin hormone can lead to an increase in harmful fats, high blood pressure and hardening of arteries.

Obesity - a risk factor for diabetes

Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat. Overweight people are at an increased risk of high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, increased blood cholesterol, heart problems, arthritis, gallbladder stones and certain cancers. Excess body fat can be measured by a standard parameter, the Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is calculated by dividing body weight by height of a person. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) -

  • Normal weight is BMI = 18.5 - 24.9 kg/square meters
  • Overweight is BMI = 25 - 29.9 kg/square meters
  • Class I obesity is BMI = 30 - 34.9 kg/square meters
  • Class II obesity is BMI = 35 - 39.9 kg/square meters
  • Class III or extreme obesity is BMI = >40 kg/square meters

Excess fat around the waist and flank is more dangerous than that in the hips and buttocks


Waist Hip Ratio

It is an accurate tool for disease risk assessment. Most people think of the fat that is easily seen collecting under the skin, or the subcutaneous fat to be extremely dangerous. But contrary to this, it is the fat deep inside the belly, or the visceral fat (the fat that accumulates around structures in the abdomen), which is the major source of risk.

Upper body obesity, with an excess fat around the waist and flank, is a greater health hazard than lower body obesity, or fat in the thighs and buttocks. Overweight individuals with a Waist Circumference (WC) > 102 cm in men; and >88 cm in women, or with a high Waist Hip Ratio of >1.0 in men; and >.85 in women, are at a greater risk of suffering from diabetes, stroke and heart problems, as compared to their counterparts having same body weight, but lower waist-hip ratio.

This is because, the visceral fat is not merely accumulated weight, but is metabolically active, just like an endocrine gland, but in a toxic manner. It secretes a number of molecules that increase inflammation and cause insulin resistance. In doing so, it promotes diseases associated with inflammation and increases the blood clotting tendency. In women, a high waist-hip ratio is associated with increased chances of getting breast cancer and developing gall bladder problems.

Weightlifting helps reduce belly fat


Measurement of Waist Hip Ratio

Using a standard tape, measure your waist at the midpoint between the lower edge to the ribs and the upper edge to the hips (iliac crest); measure the hips at their widest circumference.

The best way to improve this Waist-Hip Ratio is through regular exercises for 30 - 60 minutes every day. Weight lifting or resistance training have a unique benefit in reducing this deep belly fat.

Your measurements

What is your Waist Hip Ratio ?

See results

Acanthosis nigricans - a velvety, brownish-black patch of thickened skin- is an indicator of insulin resistance

Insulin Resistance

This is a decrease in the normal biological response to a given amount of insulin hormone that keeps blood sugar levels within the normal range.

Causes of Insulin Resistance:

  • Obesity
  • Severe infections
  • Trauma
  • Surgery
  • Hormonal imbalance - Excess Growth Hormone (acromegaly); excess Cortisol (Cushing's syndrome)
  • Autoimmunity

Middle-aged women in whom insulin resistance occurs, most often along with other autoimmune conditions, have antibodies against insulin receptors in the body. They also suffer from other autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren's syndrome, vitiligo (white spot disease), alopecia, Raynaud's phenomenon (pale, white fingers) and rheumatoid arthritis.

Acanthosis nigricans, a velvety, brownish-black patch of thickened skin that is prominent around the neck, on skin folds in the underarms or groin, often brings this condition into notice.

Parameters of harmful belly fat

Waist circumference
>102 cm
>88 cm
Waist Hip Ratio

Regular exercise reduces risk of Insulin Resistance and Syndrome - X


Syndrome - X or CHAOS

In an overweight individual with type-2 diabetes, increased blood glucose levels, increased insulin hormone, increased blood cholesterol and high blood pressure coexist. A combination of these can put the person at risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Resistance to actions of insulin hormone leads to an abnormal increase in blood glucose levels. this in turn causes more insulin to be released from the pancreas, that may or may not be of sufficient magnitude to balance blood sugar. This excess of insulin hormone contributes to an increase in the levels of "bad fats" VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins ) and triglycerides. It also causes salt retention in the body that increases blood pressure. Excess of insulin hormone may also initiate hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis). This combination that has obesity as its root cause is named as syndrome X or CHAOS (Coronary artery disease, High blood pressure, Arterial hardening, Obesity and Stroke).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)