People with a larger waist measurement have been associated with an increased risk of diabetes type 2, inflammation, insulin res-istance, high cholesterol levels and heart disease. This is because fat around the tummy region is associated with fat in organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas and stomach. This is much more dangerous than fat just under the skin.
A large study on 48,500 men and 56,343 women aged 50 years or older in the US has shown that the risk of death was more than doubled for very high levels of waist measurement. For the men a waist measurement of 120 cm doubled the risk of death compared with a waist measurement of less than 90cm. For the women a waist measurement of 105 cm or larger doubled the risk of death compared with a waist measurement of less than 75 cm. This was regardless of Body Mass Index (BMI).
The recommendation is for men to have a waist measurement of less than 94cm and women less than 80cm. We should all be getting out our tape measures now!!
Arch Intern Med. Jacobs EJ et.al. 2010;170:1293-1301.