Lets face it, Americans waistlines are in trouble. What is the ideal size for everyone’s waistline? There is no need for fancy charts or confusing math equations, there is a simple standard for measuring. As far as I’m concerned, nothing beats a simple screening tool that can be found in your drawer.
According to Dr. Margaret Ashwell, a former Science Director of the British Nutrition Foundation “keeping your waist circumference to less than half your height can help increase life expectancy for every person in the world.”
This measurement system is different than a BMI because it takes into account fat distribution throughout the body. We know it matters where you store your fat, so lets measure where it counts, right?
For example: a 6 foot tall male is 72″ in height. 72÷2= 36
His ideal waist size is 36 inches or less.
Read She Sugar’s article “BMI, a Diabetes Yardstick” for instructions on measuring your BMI.
What are the two kinds of body shapes?
An “apple shaped“ body frame is hallmarked by a frame that is top heavy. You may hear this referred to as central obesity or trunkal obesity.
We know that excess weight in the stomach region puts individuals at a greater risk for heart disease. This frame is typically associated with “metabolic syndrome”. This is a fancy name for a group of factors that increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other diseases.
A “pear shaped“ body frame is one in which the individual holds the preponderance of their weight below their waist.
Of course these can occur independently or you may have more than a few. You will be diagnosed with “metabolic syndrome” if you have more than 3 of these health issues:
- A large waistline
- A high triglyceride level
- A low HDL cholesterol level
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes or a high fasting blood sugar
- Taking medicine to treat one of the above still means you have the health issue