, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 185-190

Anthropometric Analysis of Waist-to-Hip Ratio in Asian Women

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Abstract

Background

The universally accepted attractive female figure has a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of 0.7 or 0.68 (WHR of the Venus de Milo). Using WHR and other parameters, the authors attempted to investigate chronologic changes in perceptions of the attractive female figure in Korean society, differences between Asian and Western societies in this respect, and changes in attractiveness with respect to body mass index (BMI) and age in the general female Korean population.

Methods

The authors analyzed the anthropometric measurements of 227 Miss Korea winners between 1971 and 2007, 60 candidates of the 2007 Miss Korea contest, 36 candidates of the 2007 Miss France contest, and 1785 normal women in the general population.

Results

In the Miss Korea winners’ group, the WHR tended toward 0.7. The WHR of the 2007 Miss Korea candidates was statistically smaller than the WHR of the 2007 Miss France candidates. The WHR of normal women was statistically larger than WHR of the 2000s Miss Korea winners. In all age groups of normal women, subjects with a low BMI were not significantly different from the 2000s Miss Koreas in terms of waist circumference, but they had a relatively larger hip circumference. Moreover, subjects with a normal BMI had waist circumferences that were similar to those of the 2000s Miss Koreas but relatively larger hip circumferences, and subjects with high BMI had larger waist and hip circumferences than the 2000s Miss Koreas.

Conclusion

The perceived attractive female figure in Asia has moved toward the universally accepted ideal WHR. However, there were still some differences between Asian and Western societies in the concept of ideal body figure. Also, a significant difference in body contour was observed between normal women and the ideal figure. This is because hip volume decreases and waist volume increases with age, although waist and hip volumes increase with BMI.