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Your waist measurement

Measuring your waist circumference can help you find out how much fat you have stored around your stomach. Carrying weight around your middle can make it harder for your body to control the levels of sugar in the blood, even if you have a healthy BMI. This can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes. It can also make it harder for you to manage diabetes if you have it. This is why it’s important to find out your waist measurement.

Your waist size is not necessarily your jeans size. Many of us underestimate our waist size. Measure yours now by finding the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribcage. Use a tape measure around your middle between these two points. For many people, this is near the belly button.

Watch our video for help to make sure you get an accurate waist measurement.

For a healthy size, aim for less than:

  • 80cm (31.5in) for White, Black and South Asian women
  • 90cm (35in) for South Asian men
  • 94cm (37in) for White and Black men.

You may have noticed that these measurements are different for people of different ethnicities. That’s because you have a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes if you are of Black or South Asian background. Find out more about risk factors.

How can I reduce my waist measurement?

Reducing your waist measurement is a great way to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. There are no tricks or special exercises that will reduce your waist measurement. Like with losing weight generally, the idea is to move more and eat better. There are no quick fixes, this is about making long term changes and sticking to them. 

We know this is easier said than done, so we’ve got plenty of tools and information to help you get started: