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Waist to Height Ratio – Weight Loss NICE Guideline

What weight is healthy? Nice Guidelines April 2022

It’s not just all about BMI anymore!

In an interesting change of direction, the guidelines proposed by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) in April 2022 are being changed to include waist to height ratios.

Being overweight or clinically obese can increase a persons risk of many illnesses, including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and potentially exacerbate a wide range of mental health conditions.

If your waist to height ratio is too high, you may want to consider a physical or psychological weight loss programme.

The Waist To Height Ratio NICE Guidelines

For people with a BMI below 35kg/m2 the new guidelines suggest that:

The size of your waist should be less than half of your height.


  • A 4 foot person should have a waist below 24 inches.
  • A 5 foot person should have a waist below 30 inches.
  • A 6 foot person should have a waist below 36 inches.

If your waist size is above these figures, a weight loss programme is recommended.

Why BMI Below 35kg/m2? Skinny Fat People

A BMI of 35kg/m2 is well in the clinically obese BMI category.

Having a low BMI means that you have a low weight compare to your height.

It’s not really a measure of fat.

New science suggests that visceral fat, which typically collects around our waists, is particularly unhealthy for us.

So, people can have a lower BMI, but still be unhealthy. They have a low overall level of fat, but lots of fat around their waists. They are sometimes known as skinny fat.

The waist to height ratio also looks a fat around our waists, to help identify and reduce associated health issues.

What is BMI?

BMI is your Body Mass Index.

BMI is often used in medical assessments, as a core health measure.

BMI is a very basic way to measure fat levels, that doesn’t take into account a person’s build, bone density, muscle weight, hydration levels, etc.

How to calculate your BMI?

BMI is calculated by taking your weight (kg) and dividing it by your height (m) squared.

So BMI is your weight divided by your height multiplied by your height.

A health BMI is normally between 18.5 and 24.9.

A BMI of 25 to 30 means that person is overweight.

A BMI of 30 or more means the person is clinically obese.

  • A 4 foot person is overweight if they weigh more than 37kg, and obese more than 45kg.
  • A 5 foot person is overweight if they weigh more than 58kg, and obese if more than 70kg.
  • A 6 foot person is overweight if they weigh more than 84kg, and obese if more than 100kg.

Help for Weight Loss

We believe that being over weight is more than just about food and exercise.

There is a very important mental health aspect that underlies weight gain.

By getting help to deal with stressful things from your life and to work out what the thinner you would be like, the food and exercise components can just take care of themselves.

Contact us for more information:

Note – we are expert mental health counsellors, but we are not medical doctors. If you have a concern with your health or require medical guidance, please go to see your doctor or a suitably qualified medical practitioner.