Waist Circumference and Your Health

Waist circumference (WC) is a good indicator of abdominal fat and can be used to indicate health risks. It is measured by putting an upstretched tape measure around the narrowest level of your waist over light or no clothing.

Your waist circumference measurement is a very important number to know, especially if you are currently diagnosed with a chronic disease or have a family history of diabetes or heart disease. Control your waist circumference, and your risk for diabetes and other chronic conditions will drastically decrease.

Your Weigh-Less goal weight indicates how much weight you have to lose, but the waist circumference will identify if body fat is stored in the high-risk intra-abdominal region.

Getting an accurate waist measurement is fairly simple:

1. Stand straight and try to relax. Exhale normally.
2. Locate your hip bones and wrap a tape measure around your body just above them. A good spot to aim for is halfway between your hip bone and the lowest rib. This spot should generally be just above your bellybutton but can vary in some individuals.
3. Make sure the tape measure is flat against your body and parallel to the floor. The tape measure should be snug against your skin but not overly tight.

Risks of Having a Large Waist Circumference

There are several serious risks associated with having a waist circumference larger than 35 inches in women or 40 inches in men, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia
- Glucose intolerance
- Blood fat disorders
- Impaired pulmonary function
- Metabolic syndrome
- Certain types of cancer

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