Waist-to-height ratio a better health judge than BMI, study says

Watching your waistline is more important than ever when it comes to extending your life, according to British scientists.

According to results from research done at Oxford Brookes University in England, a person's waistline-to-height ratio is a better judge of life expectancy than body mass index.

The Guardian says that researchers found that people with an extremely high waist-to-height ratio - averaging a waistline of 80 percent of their height - lived 17 years less than people of an average ratio.

A waist-to-height ratio is a simple comparison of the size of a persons waist judged against their height. BMI, on the other hand, is the calculation of a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters.

The study also concluded that a lower waist-to-height ratio can help prevent strokes, diabetes and heart disease, according to the BBC.

This latest round of research from Oxford Brookes supports conclusions drawn by Dr. Margaret Ashwell, an England-based doctor who once worked for the British Nutrition Foundation. In a study she published in 2012, Ashwell also concluded that the waist-to-height ratio was a better judge of health than body mass index.

You can read Ashwell's full study here.