Waistline may be the new ‘vital sign’ along with BMI to check your health

In a new statement, researchers suggest that healthcare professionals should routinely measure waist circumference, alongside body mass index (BMI) to properly assess and manage obesity-related health risk.

They say that decreasing waist circumference is a critical treatment for reducing health risks.

The research was conducted by a team at Queen’s University in Canada.

Despite decades of research indicating that measuring waist circumference in conjunction with BMI can improve efforts to manage cardiometabolic risk in patients, this measurement is not routinely obtained in clinical practice.

In the study, the team summarized the evidence that BMI alone is not sufficient to evaluate the cardiometabolic risk associated with obesity.

For example, although many people with overweight or obesity develop cardiometabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, others remain metabolically healthy.

However, among adults, the prevalence of metabolically healthy obesity varies greatly due to differences in age, ethnicity and environmental factors.

Waist circumference, a simple measure of abdominal adiposity, should be considered alongside BMI as an important vital sign to classify obesity.

The team reported that reductions in waist circumference can be achieved by lifestyle changes, and they called for health practitioners to be trained to properly measure waist circumference.

One author of the study is Robert Ross.

The study is published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology.

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