The ratio of a person's waist circumference to thigh circumference can serve as a measure of centralised adiposity. This is more convenient to measure than performing skinfold measurements.

Equipment: Measurements are performed with a tape without stretch (usually steel), and recorded to the nearest millimeter.



(1) waist: at the level of the navel (umbilicus)

(2) thigh: 1 inch (2.54 cm) above the patella


ratio of waist circumference to thigh circumference =

= (circumference of waist in cm) / (circumference of thigh in cm)



• The ratio is a good measure of central adiposity in both children and adults.

• Circumference ratios may perform better in adult women than adult men.



• Mueller et al (1989) found that the waist-to-thigh circumference ratio correlated with centralised fat in children as well as or better than the waist-to-hip circumference. On page 496 it is stated that all circumferences were taken over skin except the hip, which was measured over light clothing. The light clothing may have been enough to change the readings.

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