When trying to reduce your risk of obesity-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes, monitoring changes in your weight seems like a good way to track progress.
But while stepping on a bathroom scale every day is easy, it may not provide the best snapshot of the health risks that come from carrying excess fat, in particular weight around the abdomen.
Instead, a group of experts recommends measuring waist circumference, alongside body mass index (BMI) — a combination of height and weight — as a way to identify people with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Recent data highlight abdominal obesity, as determined by waist circumference, as a cardiovascular disease risk marker that is independent of body mass index,” they wrote in a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.
The best content delivered directly to your inbox.