Your risk of some health problems is affected by where your body fat is stored, as well as by your weight. Carrying too much fat around your middle (waist) can increase your risk of developing conditions such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Check out your body mass index (BMI) by using this calculator.
Measuring your waist is a good way to check that you’re not carrying too much fat around your stomach, which can raise your risk of stroke, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. You may have a healthy BMI and still have excess tummy fat, meaning you’re still at risk of developing these diseases.
To measure your waist, find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips. Wrap a tape measure around your waist, midway between these points and remember to breathe out naturally before taking the measurement.
Regardless of your height or BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waist is:
- 80cm (31.5″) or more for women
- 94cm (37″) or more for men
You are at very high risk and you should visit your doctor if your waist is:
- 88cm (34″) or more for women
- 102cm (40″) or more for men
Weight gain occurs when we regularly put more calories into our bodies than we use. Over time, that excess energy is stored by the body as fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to eat less and be more active.