Waistline could be secret to living longer

Study: Waist-Height Ratio Key to Long Life

As if you need more reasons to watch your weight, a new report says the key to a longer life is all in the waistline.

In a study, researchers from City University London looked at two decades worth of data from about 300,000 adults. They say your waistline measurement should be no more than half your height in order to live a prolonged life.

According to their developed formula, this would mean the waist of a male adult who is 5'10" should be no larger than 35 inches. Similarly, a 5'4" woman's waist should measure 32 inches. An increase of as many as seven inches can trim more than one and a half years off his or her life.

Research linking waist size and mortality has been done before and all have come up with the same conclusion -- that excess fat around the waist can contribute to premature death.

But all the studies have also determined Body Mass Index, which is used in most current health predictions, is not necessarily an accurate representation of health by itself.

BMI is a tool used to measure the health of an individual by looking at their weight relative to their height. But it's often seen criticisms in the health community.

The Daily Mail quotes the study's lead author who says the new formula could better determine how the fat around the waistline affects high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. "People are living in false hope if they rely on their BMI figure. We have got to measure the right thing."

Other experts say BMI doesn't distinguish between fat and muscle. Because muscle weighs more than fat, the index might determine a muscular person to be obese. It also fails to account for the fact taller people might take up more space without necessarily being overweight or obese. The study was published in the Public Library of Science.

See some of the most dramatic celebrity transformations:

Biggest Celebrity Transformations
See Gallery
Waistline could be secret to living longer
Jennifer Hudson looks a lot different today than she did in her American Idol days.

Today, Jennifer looks better than ever. Here, she's rocking a sleek style in all black and a bob.

In 2007, you'd likely find Jonah Hill clad in a t-shirt and a head full of curls.
Fast-forward seven years and the acclaimed actor looks dapper with a close cut and suit.

The star initially known for her role as Hannah Montana doesn't look like a wide-eyed teen anymore.

Instead, you'll find her in a signature leotard and bleach blonde bob.
The Hills star Heidi Montag looked like this before she famously underwent plastic surgery.
Today, the reality star looks nearly unrecognizable. 
Roseanne alum John Goodman didn't always look as dapper as he does today.
In 2014, the actor looks handsome and fit.
There was a time when we could only imagine Nicole Richie as a blond...
And then she boldly went a very different direction: purple! We love it!

In 2010, Rob Kardashian looked model-esque...

...but looked like a completely different person in 2013.
We're not so sure super-chic Victoria Beckham would wear this outfit and hairstyle today.
In 2014, Victoria typically opts for sleek, minimalist looks.
Ozzy Osbourne's daughter, Kelly, went dark in the '00s.
Today, the E! star brightens up a bit with a shock of blue hair and purple lip.
This goofy banged hairstyle from Jon Hamm isn't what we've come to expect from the Mad Men star.
This well-groomed but slightly scruffy look is much more like it.
The superstar has come a long way since her Destiny's Child days.
She looks ready to run the world in this style.
A young Anne Hathaway once had a lot to learn about fashion.
Now, her short hair has become iconic.
Miranda Lambert looked beautiful here in 2012, but still looks a bit different today.
Here, with a different variety of big hair, Miranda looks almost unrecognizable.
In 2009, you could have walked right past actor Joaquin Phoenix. His face was hidden behind a thick beard and often dark shades.
Today, the star rocks a clean shave and has nixed his unruly curls.
Remember when J. Lo sported dark hair? Neither did we!
Today, we can't get enough of her flowing, dirty blond locks.
Jimmy Kimmel looked like the guy next door before Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Now, he is looking spiffy as ever!
The Dawson's Creek star had girl-next-door style back in the day.
But today, she's established herself as a true fashionista, blond bob and all.
We'd be shocked to see Kim in this frilly get-up today.
Now, with her fashionisto husband Kanye West, Kim opts for something a little chicer.

More on AOL:
Daughter of Vietnam veteran pulls off incredible surprise
Video essay could get you into Goucher College in Maryland
'Extreme Weight Loss': High school teacher makes shocking transformation

Read Full Story

From Our Partners