Take measures to stop inching towards bad health

Date published: 08 January 2018

People are being asked to measure their waist size to see if they may be inching towards bad health. A waist size of 37 inches or more in men, and 32 inches or more in women, puts you at increased risk of obesity-related health problems.

Measuring waistline

It's important to spot the warning signs for being overweight or obese.

Many people don’t measure their waistline correctly as they’re unsure of where their waistline actually is.

It’s not about the size of your trousers, it’s the distance around your abdomen at roughly the halfway point between the bottom of your ribs and top of your hips – the belly button can be used as a good point to do it from.

Follow these steps to help you measure your waist correctly:

  • get hold of a standard tape measure
  • stand up straight and breathe out naturally
  • find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips - your waist is halfway between the two
  • keep the tape measure snug around your waist and write down the result

Health risks

Many people don’t even realise that they are overweight or obese and are at increased risk of:

  • coronary heart disease
  • some cancers
  • developing Type 2 diabetes
  • poorer emotional/ psychological wellbeing and self-esteem, especially among young people

Eating more healthily and taking more exercise could help prevent these types of health problems in later life. You can get useful advice and information, including healthier recipes, on the pages below:

You can also get helpful tips and practical advice on how you can measure your waist and reduce your weight at the following link:

Small changes can make a difference

Small changes are easier to make and can add up to make a big difference. Every small step will help keep a healthy weight and improve health and wellbeing, for example:

  • having smaller portions
  • thinking about what you’re buying in the supermarket
  • swapping fatty foods for healthier options
  • saying ‘no thanks’ to seconds or the children’s leftovers
  • going for a walk instead of watching TV

Daily exercise

Watching what you eat isn't the only way to prevent becoming overweight or obese. It's important to also be physically active. The reality is that the majority of us are not getting the 30 minutes of activity we need most days of the week.

Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise. It doesn’t cost you anything and has many health benefits. Walking at a brisk pace can:

  • make you feel good
  • reduce anxiety
  • help you sleep better
  • reduce blood pressure
  • help you manage your weight

For children and young people, 60 minutes of activity every day is recommended.

You can find out more at the following link:

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