Keep your waist to less than half your height if you want a healthy life says NICE

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Furthermore, NICE warns even those with a healthy BMI may be carrying too much weight.

In a statement the health body said: “Explain to people that to measure their waist, they should find the bottom of their ribs and the top of their hips, wrap a tape measure around the waist midway between these points and breathe out naturally before taking the measurement.”

The purpose of this measurement is to identify those who are overweight or obese.

If someone is overweight or obese their risk of numerous diseases and conditions rises sharply.

Latest figures for England suggest 28 percent of adults are obese and a further 36 percent are overweight.

All added up, conditions and diseases resulting from obesity are costing the NHS more than six billion pounds.

Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow Naveed Sattar was uncertain whether this new guidance would be taken up, but said it did not harm to try new ways of getting people to think about their health.

Meanwhile a consultant in obesity, diabetes, and endocrinology, Professor Rachel Batterham said: “Increased fat in the abdomen increases a person’s risk of developing several life-limiting diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”

“Waist-to-height ratio is a simple, easy-to-use measure that identifies people who are at increased health risk and would benefit from weight management support to improve their health,” added the doctor.

While this guidance from NICE provides extra clarity and information on how to measure how healthy one is, this isn’t the first time the link has been made.

A study by Bayes Business School in 2014 found the same link.

In statement the business school said: “In 2014, Professor Ben Rickayzen, Professor Les Mayhew and Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow Dr Margaret Ashwell OBE found that, based on 20 years of medical records, that those who allow extra inches to accumulate around the waist risk ill health, while those who are obese may die earlier.”

Furthermore, the study found: “[As] many as 20 years of life for men can be lost by failing to sustain your waistline. The figure is approximately 10 years for women.”

Professor Rickayzen, Professor of Actuarial Science at Bayes, added: “While this new guidance is welcome, it is vitally important that we quantify the years of life it is estimated people will lose by being obese, taking into account their waist to height ratio, age and gender.

“Our findings showed that up to 20 years of life can be lost by not maintaining a sustainable waistline. For example, the average 30-year-old, 5ft 10in tall man should have a waist of no more than 35in. This would put him in the healthy category. If his waist expanded to 42in or 60 percent of his height, he risked losing 1.7 years of life and if it increased to 56in he could die 20.2 years earlier.

“While it is positive that our findings are now being recommended by NICE, it is important that the final report outlines how many years of life people stand to lose by not keeping their waist trim.”

Nevertheless, the guidance published by NICE brings the advice to a larger platform.

The more people know about how they can manage their weight the better able they will be able to do so.

Meanwhile, the NHS recommends a person does 150 minutes of exercise a week.

Examples of moderate to intense exercise including cycling, walking, and jogging.

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