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

    Comment number 65.

    And next week some one will discover that being "over weight" is good for you... Blah, blah... What is really sad is that many women take this rubbish to heart... People should be able to live the lives they want to, they should not be made to feel ashamed of their size, no more than someone should be made to feel ashamed of there sexuality..! STOP THIS SIZEISM RUBBISH let people be!

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Anorexic's and bullimic's cost the NHS equally as much as the obese why are they treated with such nobility.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Why cant everyone just mind their own business.

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    IF I COIULD AFFORD IT I WOULD EAT HEALTHY FOOD. I grow some of my own and get the exercise that that entails plus being a footpath officer with plenty of walking, having a physical hobby and an aged M-I-L to run about for I can not get to what I am suppose to be - Why - I wish I knew! But my blood pressure is low, I do not have diabetis and my alcohol intake is within limit NOW GET OFF MY CASE!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    This is ridiculous.

    As a fat guy, I am healthier than most thin people I know - my blood pressure is good, my risk of heart attack is in the 1% group; I exercise, and while my diet is not the greatest, I'm healthy for all intents and purposes.

    Being fat/large does not mean you're unhealthy; it might mean you have some unhealthy habits, but I see just as many health issues for thin women.


Comments 5 of 793


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