Belly fat, especially deep belly “visceral” fat, is extremely dangerous, according to medical researchers. It is associated with liver problems, insulin resistance, and heart attacks. Because of this, the waist-to-hip ratio has recently been promoted as a valuable public health tool, perhaps more valuable than the body mass index (which compares weight to height).
A waist measurement of 40 inches or more is dangerous for men (37 inches or less is best). Women should aim for 31 - 35 inches.
To determine your waist-to-hip ratio, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. Men are at risk if the result is 0.9 (90%) or over, and women are at risk if the result is 0.8 (80%) or over.