Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Diet health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Waist size

Too much abdominal fat puts you at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It means you need to lose weight.

By measuring your waist circumference, doctors can track your body composition before, during, and after your weight loss efforts.

A waist circumference greater than 32 inches (80cm) for a woman or 37 inches (94cm) for a man increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.

If the measurement is more than 35 inches (88cm) for a woman or 40 inches (102cm) for a man, you are at very high risk.

Research also suggests people with extra fat around their middle are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease as those with normal amounts of fat.

A 2012 study found that people with larger waist measurements were more likely to have been diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of their BMI..

Calculating your waist circumference

To measure your waist circumference, use a tape measure. Take the midpoint between the top of your hips and the bottom of your rib cage, then bring the tape all the way around -- level with your navel. Make sure it's not too tight and that it is parallel with the floor. Don't hold your breath while measuring it.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on May 02, 2016

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
Treating your child's cold or fever
fifth disease
Illnesses every parent should know
spoonfull of sugar
Surprising things that harm your liver
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
What your nails say about your health