Measuring your waist sizeCarrying too much fat around your waist can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and stroke1. Check your waist size by wrapping a tape measure around the space between the bottom of your ribs and top of your hips. Guidelines on a healthy waist size differ for men and women.
MenYou should try to lose weight if your waist size is 94cm (37in) or more1.
Visit your GP for support with losing weight if your waist size is 102cm (40in) or more1.
WomenYou should try to lose weight if your waist size is 80cm (31.5in) or more1.
Visit your GP for support with losing weight if your waist size is 88cm (34.5in) or more1.
Find out more about measuring your waist on the NHS website.
Find out your BMIUse this BMI calculator from the NHS to give you an idea of what a healthy weight range might be for you.
Things to bear in mind about BMI
- The BMI calculator can't tell the difference between muscle, fat or bone2.
- Your BMI result doesn't take into account age, sex or muscle mass2.
- BMI calculator results don't apply if you have an eating disorder. Please speak to your GP, a pharmacist or NHS 111 for support2.
- If you're pregnant, you should enter your pre-pregnancy weight2.
Reviewed by: Mital Thakrar
Review date: October 2022
Next review: October 2025
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1. Why is my waist size important? nhs.uk. Published June 26, 2018. Accessed March 1, 2021. https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/why-is-my-waist-size-important/
2. BMI calculator | Check your BMI. nhs.uk. Published October 19, 2018. Accessed March 1, 2021. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/