What waist size puts someone at risk for diabetes?

Your waist size can be an indicator of your risk for diabetes. Fat that you carry around the middle -- abdominal fat -- acts differently than fat that you carry elsewhere, such as on your hips. So being apple-shaped rather than pear-shaped may increase your diabetes risk. A waist size above 35 inches for a woman and above 40 inches for a man is statistically linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Studies show that men with waists 40 inches or more have 12 times the risk of getting diabetes compared to men with a smaller than 36-inch waist. For women, a 35-inch waist is that much riskier than having a 32-incher. (The most sensitive way to diagnose diabetes is to measure the blood sugar fasting, and again two hours after taking 75 grams of sugar—to see how your body can deal with the sugar.)
YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

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YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

For the first time in our history, scientists are uncovering astounding medical evidence about dieting -- and why so many of us struggle with our weight and the size of our waists. Now researchers...

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.