Waist circumference

Waist circumferenceWaist circumference is a reliable indicator of obesity and increased risk of lifestyle diseases. Test yourself with a simple measuring tape.

1. Measure your waist circumference at a horisontal line one inch above your belly button.

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Waist circumference is a reliable indicator of obesity and increased risk of lifestyle diseases. Waist-to-hip ratio is also being used for the same purpose, but research has shown that using only the waist measurement gives you the same level of information.

The calculator uses the reference values given in the bottom reference (Bray).



Waist circumference action levels in the identification of cardiovascular risk factors: prevalence study in a random sample.
Han TS, van Leer EM, Seidell JC, Lean ME.
BMJ. 1995 Nov 25;311(7017):1401-5.

Waist circumference as a screening tool for cardiovascular risk factors: evaluation of receiver operating characteristics (ROC).
Han TS, van Leer EM, Seidell JC, Lean ME.
Obes Res. 1996 Nov;4(6):533-47.

A comparative evaluation of waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index as indicators of cardiovascular risk factors. The Canadian Heart Health Surveys.
Dobbelsteyn CJ, Joffres MR, MacLean DR, Flowerdew G.
Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 May;25(5):652-61.

Waist circumference and not body mass index explains obesity-related health risk
Ian Janssen, Peter T Katzmarzyk and Robert Ross
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 3, 379-384, March 2004

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
George A Bray
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 3, 347-349, March 2004


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#7 Mia 2016-12-30 03:01
My name is Mia, I am 11 and waist is probably 29 to 35 inches is that healthy and normal?
#6 Will Howell 2013-02-22 01:45
check it out
#5 Steven Tucker 2011-05-24 06:01
This isn't just unscientific its plain dumb.
#4 Morten 2010-11-24 22:31
Matt - funny that you mention that, because we actually preparing a waist-to-height calculator. Coming soon :-)
#3 Matt 2010-11-24 10:48
What about stature? You’re telling me that as a 6ft 3 European with a waist (belly) of 39 inches I have the same risk as my Pilipino friend who has the same waist but is 5ft 4 in stature. Surely the waist to height ratio allows for this. J. Hodgdon, and M. Beckett, "Prediction of percent body fat for U.S. Navy men and women from body circumferences and height". Reports No. 84-29 and 84-11. Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, Cal. 1984.
#2 Morten Z 2010-09-24 22:44
Well, there is no formal lower limits for waist circumference. It is more a consequence of GIGO (garbage in - garbage out) as 10 cm would never be a real measurement. To avoid that we could consider truncating the input at 30 cm.
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