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Should I worry about the excess weight around my waist?

Does the excess weight around my waist put me at greater risk for cancer?

The short answer – yes. Waist circumference is another way to measure health risks related to excess abdominal fat.

A higher waist circumference increases your risk of colorectal cancer and may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer after menopause and uterine cancer.

Generally, people who carry too much weight around the waist (an apple body shape) have a greater risk of developing health problems than people who have more weight in the hip and thigh areas (a pear body shape).

How do you measure your waist?

Waist circumference is measured around the waist above the hip bone while you’re standing up. The measuring tape should be tight, but not too tight. Take the measurement after you breathe out.

What’s an unhealthy waist?

The risk of developing health problems, including cancer, increases as waist circumference goes above 102 cm (40") in men and 88 cm (35") in women.

Can I have a normal BMI and a high waist circumference?

Yes. Even if you’re in the normal range on the BMI, a high waist circumference does mean you have some health risk. It’s best to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned.

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