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Healthy Waist Measurement

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I've heard on numerous occasions over the years that excess weight is not the only risk to health. Where we store our fat on our body is also quite important. A person with a "pear" shape body fares much better than one with an "apple" shape because the latter stores most of the fat in the abdomen area. Such person is more likely to develop serious health problems. The ideal waist measurement for men is under 40 inches and under 35 inches for women.

Today I learned two more interesting facts about the correlation between waist measurement and increased health risks. The first one is from The Stroke Foundation's web site. It cites the same recommended waist measurement for men (under 40") and for women (under 35"). However, race plays an important factor. For Chinese and South Asian people, the recommended waist measurement is even lower: 35" for men and 32" for women.

The other interesting fact I learned is from the November 2007 issue of The Reader's Digest. Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz noted that waist size is a great way to measure how we deal with stress. The fat between our organs behind our belly button sucks up stress hormones, so we deposit more fat there when we are stressed. Ideally, our waist measurement should be less than half our height. They cited an example of a 5' 5" person (65") should have a waist smaller than 32.5".

Besides relying on our scales to reveal weight loss, using a tape measure is another good way to gauge progress. Of the three measurements that SparkPeople recommend that we track (neck, waist, and hip), waist size is the best indicator. I am pleased that currently my waist size is within the guideline as recommended by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    For Chinese and South Asian people, the recommended waist measurement is even lower: 35" for men and 32" for women.

    IF waist is considered the smallest part, I'm 32', barely.(I'm Chinese). If its considered navel ish, I fail.

    Either way, I'd like my arms and legs to redistribute some of the fat now plz. Then they'll be less stick like, and I won't be dead.
    3136 days ago
    I thought maybe my waist was close to 35 since it was 21 when I was young. It was really almost 43. Good thing I have started to really watch my diet. I have lost 10 lbs and 40 to go!
    3161 days ago
    I have always been pear shaped, but the day I started SP I can safely say that I did not have a waist. My torso was one solid smooth line. It was not pretty at all!! Since starting SP my waist has gone from over 35 inches down to under 30. I have a waist and I am no longer "avocado" shaped. I'm a pear!!
    3797 days ago
    What do they say about the upside-down pear shape? Ha ha, that's what I am. Anyway, it encouraged me to know that I'm getting healthier because not only is my waist under 35 inches by now, it's also less than 1/2 of my height. Yay for progress! Thank you for the great posts.
    3815 days ago
    I have a challenge in one of my teams to take measurements tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don't fall into the ideal measurements.
    3816 days ago
  • JAZZI2005
    Yes sometimes a tape measure will provide answers when the scale does not. Keep up the good work. Welcome to team Ice Breakers!
    3816 days ago
  • AMYIS200
    Good for you!! You are doing such an incredible job! I've seen Dr. Oz on Oprah a few times talking about waist measurements and the Omentum...the dangerous part to carry fat in your belly. I have a way to go, but I'll be there right with you in no time!!
    3816 days ago
  • NUTMEG25
    I have a long way to go. I come from a long line of fatties who were healthy up into their 80's and I know their waist never was small enough according to those stats....So I guess we can't all be put into the same box. That give me some hope at this point while I am working on this.
    Hugs, Meg
    3816 days ago
    WTG! Unfortunately, I have not enough courage yet to get out the measuring tape! I have an apple shape, which is not good. Keep up the great work, and I love your blogs!
    3816 days ago
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