Waist circumference is now an important factor in weight and body-fat assessment.
This is because total body fat is no longer seen as the key indicator of weight-related health problems. Fat distribution is just as important. For example, body fat that accumulates around the waist and stomach area (abdominal fat) poses a greater health risk than fat stored in the lower half of the body.
A high waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and CVD in patients with a body mass index (BMI) between 25-34.9. Furthermore, in obese patients with metabolic complications, changes in waist circumference are useful predictors of changes in CVD risk factors.
Unhealthy Waist Circumference
If you are overweight (BMI 25+), then as a very general rule, an unhealthy waist circumference is above 35 inches (women), or above 40 inches (men).
See also Waist-Hip Ratio Calculator
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NOTE: For an explanation of how surplus calories – from dietary fat, protein or carbohydrate – are stored as body fat, please see: Body Fat/Adipose Tissue – Why We Gain Fat