Obesity and Waist Circumference

Q: What is obesity?
A: Obesity is having too much body fat. It’s a complex disorder affected by many things, including age, gender, genetics, general fitness, eating behavior, illness, medications, environment and socioeconomic status.

Q: How do health experts measure obesity?
A: They use waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Waist circumference measures excess abdominal fat. Carrying excess fat in your middle can be a warning sign for several health problems, including type 2 diabetes and unhealthful cholesterol. Carrying excess weight in your thighs, for example, tends to carry less risk.

To measure your waist:
Place a tape measure snugly about your bare abdomen just above your hip bone.

Healthy waist circumference:
Men: Under 40 inches.
Women: Under 35 inches.


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