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 Waist Circumference


Lt Col Reynolds
Along with determining BMI, measuring waist circumference can help to determine the possibility of certain health risks that come with being overweight or obese. Dr. Bethea, can you explain how waist circumference is measured?

Dr. Bethea
Sure, Dr. Reynolds. Measuring waist circumference can be a helpful tool in estimating an adult’s risk for a variety of conditions. Excessive fat around the waist can indicate a greater risk for developing obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

In order to accurately measure waist circumference, a tape measure should be wrapped around the waist just above the hipbones. Once you have completely exhaled, use that measurement to determine waist circumference.

If the patient is a man whose waist circumference is more than 40 inches, or a non-pregnant woman whose waist circumference is more than 35 inches, this may indicate that they have a higher risk of developing obesity-related conditions.

However, it’s important to remember that waist circumference should only be used as a screening tool. In order to diagnose specific health risks, your healthcare provider will need to perform appropriate diagnostic assessments.