Waist circumference can help diagnose disease

January 16, 2001 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Waist circumference can help diagnose disease

Determining who's at risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes may be as simple as measuring a patient's waist, researchers report.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health departments in 10 countries, waist circumference and body mass index (BMI)--a measure of a person's weight in relation to their height--can identify health risks associated with overweight and obesity.

The reviewers found that people with similar waist circumferences had comparable rates of type 2 diabetes regardless of age and that in women, the rate of heart disease rose as both BMI and waist circumference increased.

Previous research has shown that people who develop excess weight in their abdomen, or those with an "apple-shaped" body, have a higher risk of certain chronic disorders than people who tend to gain weight in their buttocks and thighs, or those who have "pear-shaped" bodies.

Waist circumference can gauge a person's overall pattern of weight gain.

To calculate your BMI and Waist to Hip Ratio, click here.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.