Table 5.6Classification of overweight and obese (waist circumference) from key references

SourceClassification (waist circumference)Additional comments
Adult
NOF 200243Men > 102 cmAssociated with ‘substantially increased health risk’
Women > 88 cm
NHMRC 200313Men ≥ 102 cm
(≥ 94 cm increased risk)
Associated with ‘substantially increased’ risk of metabolic complication
Waist circumference is a valid measure of abdominal fat mass and disease risk in individuals with a BMI less than 35 kg/m2. If BMI is 35 or more, waist circumference adds little to the absolute measure of risk provided by BMI
Women ≥ 88 cm
(≥ 80 cm increased risk)
NIH 199814Men > 102 cmAssociated with high risk to health
Although waist circumference and BMI are interrelated, waist circumference provides an independent prediction of risk over and above that of BMI. It is particularly useful in patients who are categorised as normal or overweight on the BMI scale
Women > 88 cm

BMI, body mass index; NOF, National Obesity Forum; NHMRC, National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia); NIH, National Institutes of Health.

From: 5, Identification and classification

Cover of Obesity: The Prevention, Identification, Assessment and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults and Children
Obesity: The Prevention, Identification, Assessment and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults and Children [Internet].
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 43.
Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE (UK); National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care (UK).
Copyright © 2006, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

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