NICE: Keep your waist size below half of your height

Photo by Andres Ayrton on

Adapted from BMJ 16 April 2022

To reduce the chances of your developing type two diabetes, it is best to keep your belly measurement to less than half of your height. You don’t need a tape measure. A bit of string will do.

NICE say that BMI may still be useful to define overweight and obesity, although it does have considerable limitations in muscular people and in old age. As it is not a direct measure of belly fat which is the driver for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease it must be interpreted cautiously.

In people of south Asian, Chinese, other Asian, Middle Eastern, black African or African-Caribbean backgrounds NICE are now stating that a BMI of 23 can be considered as overweight and 27.5 can be considered as obese.

These parameters may be important when treatments are being limited by BMI category.

Adapted from Medscape May 25 2022. Why is long term weight loss so difficult? It’s biology, not willpower! by Donna Ryan MD.

When people lose weight changes occur in food regulation hormones and subjective hunger increases. This drives an increase in food intake. The hormones that make you feel full after a meal reduce and the ones that make you hungry increase. Reduced energy expenditure also occurs and this also drives weight regain.

Even when both diet and exercise strategies are applied, regain of more than half of the lost weight occurs by 2 years and 80% of lost weight is regained by 5 years.

People who defy these norms report that they do very high levels of physical exercise, eat low calorie and low- fat diets, have very high degrees of eating restraint, and have low levels of disinhibition. They also tend to weigh themselves several times a week. So, they work really, really hard at it, and can never let up.

The medications that reduce weight work if they are taken for long enough, but on discontinuation, weight gain returns.

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