Patient Education

Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Measuring Your Waist

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Your waist size can be an important measure of health.

Waist circumference

Waist circumference is an indirect indicator of intra-abdominal fat tissue, often called visceral fat. A large waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease because of excess abdominal fat.

To measure your waist circumference, place a tape measure around your body at the top of your hipbone. This is usually at the level of your belly button. You are at increased risk for health problems if you are:

  • A man with a waist measurement greater than 40 in. (102 cm).
  • A woman with a waist measurement greater than 35 in. (88 cm).

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

Current as ofOctober 9, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.