A new study from researchers at the Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, England suggests that waist size may be an indicator of diabetes risk even for those who aren’t obese.
According to a report published this week in PLoS Medicine, men and women with larger waists that don’t fall within clinical classifications of obesity may still be at an increased risk for diabetes.
Lead study researcher Claudia Langenberg and her team reviewed health records for over 28,000 people as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. They compared the waist size and BMI of 12,400 people with type 2 diabetes with about 16,100 people without.
A large waist is 35 inches or more in a woman and 40 inches or more in a man.
“Our results now provide clear evidence that a simple measurement of waist circumference can identify overweight individuals (BMI 25-[29.9]) with a large waist, whose risk of future diabetes is equivalent to that of obese people,” Langenberg told WebMD.
“BMI measures overall adiposity and gives no information about fat distribution.”