Most people store their body fat in two distinct areas: around their waist (apple shape) and around their hips (pear shape). If you have more fat around your waist you have a greater risk of lifestyle related diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure than those with weight around their hips and thighs.
If the measurement around your waist is more than 80 centimetres for women or 94 centimetres for men, it is time for you to take action. You are in a high risk category if your waist is more than 88 centimetres for women, or more than 102 centimetres for men.
Measure directly against your skin and not over your clothes. Breathe out normally and make sure the tape is snug, without compressing the skin. The point to measure is halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone, roughly in line with your belly button.
Please note that waist measurements should only be used for adults to check their risk of developing a chronic disease. Measurements that indicate increased risks for children and young people have not been developed.