Here’s the best way to tell if you’re overweight (and it doesn’t involve a scale)

Rob Waugh
Contributor
A competitor on the show ‘Dance Your Ass Off’ (Reuters)

Most of us rely on bathroom scales – or BMI calculations – to work out if we’re overweight or obese.

But is gaining or losing pounds the be-all and end-all?

Actually, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that BMI isn’t the final answer when it comes to measuring your health, Science Alert reports.

Instead, you might be best off measuring around your waist with a tape measure.

BMI isn’t perfect because it doesn’t take factors such as muscle mass into account, which means that people can get wildly inaccurate measures of whether they’re fat or fit.

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Instead, measure round your waist: if you’re a woman, you want a measurement less than 34.5 inches, a man less than 40.

Ideally, though, you’ll have much less than that.

The NHS says, ‘Regardless of your height or BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waist is 37ins or more for men or 31.5ins or more for women.’

Measurements higher than these have been linked with serious illnesses including type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, Science Alert reports.

A study from UCL and Cancer Research UK this year found that obese people often don’t realise (or admit) they have a problem, with just 10% of obese people admitting they were obese.

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