Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hispanic women and waist-to-hip ratio

Using MIDUS data, I regressed waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) onto race/ethnicity and body mass index (BMI). (I figured fatter people have higher WHRs.) Here are the results for 1,974 women:

Standardized OLS regression coefficients

Hispanic .06*
Black -.02
Asian .01
BMI .32*

*statistically significant relationship with WHR

Fatter women do indeed have fatter waists compared to hips. The three minority groups are all being compared with non-Hispanic whites. Latino women have higher WHRs than their white counterparts. The other two racial groups do not differ from whites.

Consistent with my casual observations, Hispanic women are less curvy. Waist size is more similar to hip size. The curvaceous woman is more of a white thing.


  1. I saw an inter-ethnic study of this once. I think Italian women had the lowest ratio.


  3. MIDUS is not exactly going to be measuring the waist-to-hip ratios of pretty young things. I have a stereotype of hispanic women not aging well so this could contribute to the correlation.

  4. Psychology Today digs deeper into the Kanazawa brouhaha:

  5. Severn7:56 PM


    White women ages 36 to 45 measure 41-34-43.

    Black women, 43-37-46.

    Hispanic women, 42.5-36-44.

    Asian women, 41-35-43. (That surprised me)

    White women are (relatively) skinnier than blacks or Hispanics. They're probably a few inches taller than Hispanics also - Hispanic women are short and squat by comparison.

    Very few women have an hourglass figure. Most are pear shaped or have hips and waist about the same size.

  6. nice post but i would like to ask if BMI is a better tool to analyze obesity or Waist hip ratio?

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