What is your waist saying about you? More than you know

WASHINGTON — You know your waist size is important when shopping for clothes … but the number is also critical for your health.

Lean Plate Club™ blogger Sally Squires says if you have a larger waist, you may be at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and premature cardiovascular diseases. She says this applies to men who have waist sizes of 40 inches or larger and to women with waist sizes of 35 inches or larger.

Squires says waistlines do more than reflect the amount body fat around your midsection. There is recent research that points to an increased risk for some types of cancer in older women who have larger waist sizes.

Diet and exercise can help to reduce your waist size. New studies also suggest that internet-based programs can produce results as well.

An analysis of 31 studies involving more than 8,000 participants found significant reduction in waist size by people participating in online social support programs. Many lost an inch in their waist size—a statistically significant reduction.

“One of the things that the researchers suggests is that the ease of checking-in online and having others supporting you in this community adds to the weight loss success,” Squires said.

To assess what your weight and waistline risk may be, use these tools from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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