Waist Circumference

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Waist Circumference (WC) is a useful measure of excess fat; it can be used as an additional measure to the Body Mass Index. It is especially for apple body shapes. Lean (1995) in his research concluded that Waist Circumference could be used in health promotion programmes to identify individuals who should seek and be offered weight management. 

NHS (UK) reports that too much fat around your waist can raise your risk of serious health problems, such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some types of cancer.

Our waist circumference calculator uses the ranges provided by NHS and WHO.  

Risk Factor Female (cm) Male (cm)
Low below 80 below 94
Moderate 80 to 87 94 to 101
High 88 or more 102 or more

Please note that waist circumference ranges do not address underweight categories. If you are concerned about being underweight, please seek a trained healthcare provider.

See also:  Measuring your waist


2016, January, 20. What is your BMI? Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/BodyMassIndex.aspx

2016, February 15. Sponholtz TR, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Hatch EE, Adams-Campbell LL, Wise LA. Body Size, Metabolic Factors, and Risk of Endometrial Cancer in Black Women, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 183, Issue 4, 15 February 2016, Pages 259–268, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwv186

2016, Jun, 15. Obesity. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity

2008, December, 8-11. Waist Circumference and Waist-Hip Ratio. Report of a WHO Expert Consultation. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44583/1/9789241501491_eng.pdf

1995, July 15. Lean M, Han T, Morrison C. Waist circumference as a measure for indicating need for weight management. BMJ. 1995;311:158-61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2550221/



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Special thanks to G. Salcı and Y. Herrera for the translations into Turkish and Spanish respectively, and U. Waywell for editing texts in English.

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