Waist circumference and body mass index

Avoiding fat around the waist

More than 60 % of working-aged people are overweight, in other words their body mass index (BMI) is more than 25. A weight loss of just 5-10 % is good for your health.

The body mass index indicates your weight in relation to your height. If your weight is more than average in relation to your height, you most likely have excess fat in your body. Extremely muscular people are the only exception.

The body mass index provides an estimate regarding the total amount fat in your body, but it does not indicate in which part of your body the fat is located.



Body mass index definitions: Duodecim, Lihavuuden käypä hoito, 2011

When can waist circumference become a risk?

When your waist circumference is too wide, you have an increased risk of falling ill of adult onset diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Women’s health risks increase when the waist circumference is more than 80 cm. For men, the waist circumference should be less than 93 cm.


Source: Waist circumference and obesity-related health risks, Finnish Heart Association (Sydänliitto)

Your waist circumference helps you estimate how much fat tissue has accumulated inside your abdominal cavity. This so-called visceral fat cannot be seen, but you can feel it.

According to current views, visceral fat is significantly more harmful in terms of health than subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is a significant risk factor in diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Hunt for the lost waisttop-5-eng

  1. Make a habit of weighing yourself once per week.
  2. Measuring tape and the mirror are uncompromising in measuring your body.
  3. Take time for regular meals, do not have snacks.
  4. Get enough sleep – when you are tired, you tend to eat less healthy.
  5. Exercise in a manner that makes you feel good.