Why Your Waist Circumference Matters

Looking for a crystal ball into your healthy future?  Dig out your tape measure!  Along with measuring your body mass index (BMI) - calculated by your height and weight, measuring your waist circumference is a great screening tool to help determine your risk of developing chronic disease.

When transitioning into menopause, women often complain of increased belly fat and weight gain. Excessive fat in your mid section puts you at risk for extra fat around your internal organs called visceral fat. Visceral fat at any age increases your risk of chronic diseases - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The American Heart Association even states that measuring your waist circumference, starting before the menopause transition begins, is an important indicator of your heart health.  

Measuring your waist is simple:

  • Start by finding the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your rib cage. Halfway between, place your tape measure all the way around your body.  Check to make sure the tape measure is not twisted in the back.
  • Take a few breaths and without pulling the tape measure too tight that it is compressing the skin, check the number on the tape measure as you breathe out.

If your waist circumference is greater than 35 inches, you may be at risk for developing obesity related conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Suffering from menopause symptoms?  We recommend treatment. Night sweats and poor sleep increase your risk of weight gain and a growing waist circumference.  

Barbra Hanna, DO, FACOG, MSCP

Barbra Hanna, DO, FACOG, MSCP

Dr Barbra Hanna, a board-certified OB/GYN and Menopause Society Certified Practitioner has 25+ years experience in women's health. She founded MyMenopauseRx to fill the void in menopause healthcare.