More than half of British women's waists 'too big'

 
An overweight person walks through Glasgow City centre Larger waists could lead to an increased chance of fertility problems

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More than half of British women have waists that are larger than the recommended healthy size, experts say.

Researchers from the charity Nuffield Health say overweight women risk an increased chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, infertility and cancer.

The researchers found the average waist measurement for women is 84.9cm (33.43in), compared with the healthy size of 80cm (31.49in).

Nuffield Health's Dr Davina Deniszczyc said it was a "worrying problem."

Dr Deniszczyc, professional head of physicians and diagnostics at Nuffield Health, said: "Fat being stored around the waist can contribute to significant health issues, such as breast cancer and infertility."

Nuffield Health examined data from more than 30,000 women and found 57% had a waist larger than the healthy size.

It said women in the north of England have the largest waists, with an average circumference of 87cm, compared to 81.9cm in London.

Researchers also said 52.5% of the women have a body mass index (BMI) higher than the healthy range, while 16.2% were moderately or morbidly obese.

The BMI is calculated by taking your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in metres squared.

A BMI level measured between 25 and 29.9 means a person is regarded as overweight. If your BMI is over 30 then you are clinically obese.

Dr Deniszczyc said: "Whilst waist size may seem like a cosmetic issue, this isn't about women fitting into their skinny jeans. Rather, it's an important indicator of overall health and well-being, particularly when taken into account with other health measurements.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 793.

    For many obese people, losing fat is not so much about restricting just the number of calories, but about altering their *source*. Too much sugar & refined carbohydrates -> too much insulin -> body *cannot* access the fat reserves to burn it. You can restrict calories and increase exercise, but if those calories are mostly carbs then stored fat will go UP and you'll lose muscle mass instead...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 792.

    You can imagine the misery I suffered as a male adolescent 40 pounds overweight. Since then I've gained control of my eating habits through a bit of daily exercise and closely counting calories. Losing weight is amazingly simple. I feel better, enjoy life more, and my sex life is as good as it gets. Put down that cake, get off the couch, and quit making excuses.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 791.

    I am male, 5'9" and 100 Kg (220#). I eat (mostly) vegan, exercise when I can (sometimes walk with a cane) and generally limit myself to ~1,200 calories a day ... not enough to maintain my body weight. Sure wish I knew what I am doing wrong.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 790.

    788. Lisa
    It's whats inside that counts!!
    +++
    It certainly is. McDonald's, curries, KFC, Chocolate....

    No beer belly and a full head of hair at 48, even though I've been drinking like a fish since 16, secret? Plenty of exercise and no pudding or snacking between meals.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 789.

    Why oh Why in this age of austerity is money being waisted in this way telling people what they already know. If you are fat you know you are fat, if you are thin you know you are etc etc.
    I am sick and tired of being told to do more of this and more of that.
    If i did everything i was told i wouldn't go out, eat, drink or speak. Get on with running the country and let us decide how we live!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 788.

    Looking at some of the comments. Awful!!! Cannot win, I am 5'11 healthy yet get called skinny! But have male comments being so derogatory towards women!! It's whats inside that counts!! Think about that when going bald and stroking your beer belly all alone!!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 787.

    Judging by my last visit to a hospital, a good number of the staff must have contributed to the data.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 786.

    I do sometimes wonder if there is a severe shortage of mirrors in the UK.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 785.

    I am 40 years old, weigh 11 stone. A nurse I eat sensibly and eat well. Due to hereditary .... I.e my parents are both tall and slender even in old age. It's bad enough the media make people feel fat and ugly. But now the govt are doing it!!! BMI ratings should be changed for a start a very outdated system.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 784.

    statistician...I am not obese and I am not on benefits. Have you tried feeding a family on benefits in a manner that makes losing weight/maintaining weight easy. And not all people on benefits are skiving or lazy....they are in that position through flamin tough luck and recession. Many poor people are juggling to pay soaring utility bills and fill their kids up!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 783.

    Trying to lose weight is like trying to quit smoking. There are psychological and physiological hurdles to overcome. People trying to lose weight will feel uncomfortable eating less. It is painful to do exercise. And there is a lot of marketing rubbish that sells supposedly quick results. It takes much more than "a little effort". It requires a life change.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 782.

    They block the entire aisle in the supermarket. They move slowly across the street, balancing their masses from leg to leg. Indifference and complacency have shaped these bodies. I can't watch! Obesity and many other evils such as political and economic stagnation, decline of democracy, freedom and human dignity, it all has the same root and only we can change it. We must fight our indifference!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 781.

    @695.ELAZY
    You're missing the point that the majority of these 50%+ women COULD lose weight with some effort. Surely it should annoy you of all people then when you know if others put the effort you did into staying healthy then they wouldn't be obese. Most people don't have any medical problem they just are lazy (majority of this 50%+ people have no metabolism, medical, genetics problem etc etc)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 780.

    Dear Nuffield Health,

    When you get your report aired on the BBC HYS you should also join the debate on HYS. Similarly the PM and ministers.

    My contribution is that we should abore mischief like blaming king size choc bars as you could always have bought two small ones.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 779.

    50 years ago the target was 36"24"36" and THAT was considered quite rounded! M&S will tell you it's now about 38"32"40". Young women's bellies are fat and FLABBY. Yuk!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 778.

    So you are telling me most British women have larger waist than me? This explains why I don't find most British women attractive!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 777.

    Does my bum look big in this ? No dear it's bl--dy enormous.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 776.

    No one fat ever came out of Belsen.

    The biology is simple. If you have too many calories that you do not burn off they are stored.

    Eat less, exercise more. AND don't pretend to others or yourself.

    For waists. Get a hula hoop!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 775.

    Is that 80cm for tall women or short women?

    And as for bmi, as a measure it is old. Modern diet includes much more calcium. As a result, we have stronger, broader skeletons. BMI needs to be revisited.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 774.

    After I quit smoking, I piled on the pounds. I'll get there in the end. I do prefer not looking like a stick insect and yes, I am considered clinically obese: I also know how to lose it by eating smaller portions and doing more exercise.
    My excuse right now: I am waiting for summer.Bad joke, eh?

 

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