Waist size signals diabetes risk
June 5th, 2012
05:16 PM ET

Waist size signals diabetes risk

Having a large waist is an important early warning sign for diabetes, one that in some cases may be just as significant as body mass index (BMI), if not more so, a new study has found.

Waist size, which provides a rough measure of a person's body type, may be especially useful for identifying high-risk people who are overweight but not obese, the study suggests. Obesity is a clear-cut risk factor for diabetes, but doctors generally have a harder time determining which overweight people are most vulnerable to the condition.

"Waist circumference is very helpful in people who are obese, but exceptionally helpful in people who are overweight," says Dr. Abraham Thomas, M.D., head of endocrinology and diabetes at Henry Ford Hospital, in Detroit. Thomas was not involved in the study.

Health.com: Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Researchers at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in the UK, measured the waist size and BMI of about 30,000 middle-aged Europeans and followed them for up to 17 years. People who at the start of the study were merely overweight but also had a large waist - defined as 40 inches for a man and 35 inches for a woman - were more likely than obese people with normal or moderately large waists to develop type 2 diabetes, the researchers found.

At the 10-year mark, 7% and 4.4% of overweight men and women with large waists had developed diabetes, respectively. By contrast, the corresponding figures among obese men and women with moderately large waists were just 4.9% and 2.7%.

Among women, in fact, waist size appeared to be even more useful than BMI for predicting diabetes. When the researchers analyzed the three-way links between diabetes, waist size, and BMI, they found that diabetes risk was more closely associated with waist size than with BMI.

Health.com: Eat these foods and fight diabetes

BMI, a ratio of height to weight, has come under scrutiny of late because it fails to distinguish body fat from muscle, or where fat is located on the body. (People are considered overweight and obese if they have a BMI above 25 and 30, respectively.)

Waist circumference, on the other hand, measures belly fat and indicates how fat is distributed across the body. This is important information, since people who tend to accumulate fat around their belly (as opposed to their hips and legs) are more likely to develop not only diabetes but also heart disease, a common complication of diabetes.

"The visceral fat that surrounds the organs and intestines in the abdomen produces a lot of hormones, which have implications for making the body resistant to insulin and can contribute to inflammation," Thomas says.

The new study, which appears in the journal PLoS Medicine, is the latest to highlight the importance of waist size and the shortcomings of BMI. If doctors looked at waist size more closely, they could refer more high-risk individuals to weight-loss and diabetes-prevention programs, the study authors say.

Health.com: 10 diet and exercise tricks that get big results

But rather than supplanting BMI as the best predictor of diabetes risk, waist circumference might be most useful if it's simply added to the mix, says Jane Bolin, Ph.D., an associate professor of health policy and management at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, in College Station.

"It's another indicator physicians can rely on to raise red flags about the possibility of diabetes," she says.

A potential hurdle, however, is that measuring waist circumference isn't as easy as it sounds. Waist measurements need to be taken consistently at a certain place on the torso in order to be accurate and useful, and most nurses and doctors aren't trained in how to do this, Thomas says.

The study, though the largest of its kind, has some limitations that will need to be addressed in the future, the authors say. The participants were European and overwhelmingly white, for instance, so other studies will be needed to confirm the link between waist size and diabetes in people of other ethnic backgrounds.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

Post by:
Filed under: Body Image • Diabetes • Health.com • Obesity • Weight loss

soundoff (608 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Today, during the news, they aired the "High Fructose Corn Syrup" appreciation advertisement twice in one commercial break.

    June 5, 2012 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elly

      Is that the commercial that talks about HCFS being okay in moderation, because your body can't tell the difference, i.e. sugar is sugar? The commercial that completely ignores that HFCS is in almost everything that comes in a package, thereby making it impossible to eat it/sugar in any sort of moderation? That commercial?

      June 6, 2012 at 09:57 | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Yeah and HFCS is also basically the same as honey. But if you don't want the calories all together... drink diet!

      June 6, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
    • Elly

      Glenn – HFCS does not exist only in soda, and calories aren't the problem here. Read packages at the store; it's in almost everything, from peanut butter to ketchup to bread to purportedly health fruit juices. I'd also rather take my chances with HFCS in regular soda than with aspartame/saccharin in diet soda.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      When you go behind politics we see that type 2 diabetes has already been reversed. Dr Liu in Denmark revealed how to reverse diabetes without any medications.

      No one needs a drug to reverse type 2 diabetes. All of this information was taken from the Spirit Happy Diet people in Denmark.

      Diabetes has been reversed in over 10,000 people by using a specialized diabetes diet. The diet also reversed body fat in people trying to lose weight. Scientists showed food chemicals is the cause of almost all diabetes. They also showed how to reverse your own diabetes without medications. The diabetes drug caused cancer

      just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

      June 6, 2012 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • E

      SPIRIT HAPPY DIET made by .... filmmakers with no backing by nutritionist or the health profession ....

      Yeah, they have NO self-interest whatsoever. Right ....

      June 6, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • eroteme

      Oh, horrors! We can't have this. Protest! Protest!

      June 6, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
    • MarkGlicker

      Folks need to take more responsibility for their health.

      June 7, 2012 at 07:39 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Eating in moderation and getting some exercise is all that a person really needs. (I wonder if overweight-underweight people have mental health issues).

      June 7, 2012 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
  2. Iluta

    Hey, this is an Infographic I made about OBESITY!
    Chech it out and pass the link along, if you want to help me bring more awareness about it!

    June 5, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. stopthemadness

    Uh Duh if you are fat you are 70% more likely to have bad eating habits which usually leads to diabetes........ Lmao.

    June 5, 2012 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • skippy

      Not always true. I have had good eating habits all my life. As a child my parents saw to it that we ate healthy foods and that teaching has followed me through my adult life. I was never over-weight until after menopause and now I have the "midriff" bulge. I'm about 18 pounds heavier than I've ever been in my life. My weight is stable, it doesn't fluctuate but I just can't lose the extra pounds in my mid section. It is fat, I know it is, but it has nothing to do with my eating habits, it's just something that happened with age. So, no, bad eating habits are not the only thing that causes someone to gain harmful weight.

      June 6, 2012 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Some people with thyroid issues can't lose weight no matter how much they try. A woman I work with has thyroid issues, and is overweight, and all she eats is veggies and sometimes chicken. She eats healthier than most yet still has weight problems.

      June 6, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      @Bill regarding your friend with the thyroid problem who just eats chicken and veggies – do people in starving countries with thyroid problems survive? How about concentration camps, did the lucky few who had thyroid problems make it through ok? It's not impossible to lose weight with a thyroid problem. As for the chicken and veggies – when I'm dieting, I know I can undo a perfect week with a bad weekend, very easily, and tend to eat by the week rather than by the day. You don't know what she is doing at home, and she herself is probably in denial. It's easy to rationalize and justify that plate of pasta for dinner, and that's all it takes to keep your weight on.

      June 6, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      @ Susan – The point is weight gain is NOT ALWAYS attributed to eating and exercise habits but can be related to health issues
      However the commercial food business with approval of our government has made it quite difficult to eat healthy. Our food supply is contaminated with pesticides, chemicals, genetically modified, processed and artificial sweeteners, etc.
      Our food has so much processed "stuff" in it that it is almost impossible to limit your intake of unwanted ingredients.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
    • stopthemadness

      Again MOST fat people have poor eating habbits. Not all just most.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:42 | Report abuse |
    • ann

      It can lead to diabetes, but that is not the only way you can end up with diabetes. People who do not have the genetics for it can generally avoid getting it even if they are not eating good and are overweight. In my case, I eat well, exercise, and am at a healthy weight and still got it at a young age. The endocrinologist says I have a double dose of genetics from both sides plus undiagnosed PCOS. On top of that I have a very stressful job which is likely the factor that caused the genetic switch to be kicked off at a young age. Everyone who I tell that I have diabetes usually has their job drop and says, "But you're not fat?!" Even all the doctors seem surprised. That is because everyone associated type II with being fat. It can contribute to it, but it is not the be all end all of how you get it and no one should be assuming that is what caused someone to get it.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • JHL

      Generally people gain weight when the calories that they burn are less than the calories they take in. There are very few outliers to this. As you age, you burn fewer calories, so you need to take in fewer calories. There's no magic involved.

      As to outliers and anacdotes: they are outliers and anecdotes, so please stop with the stories about "I'm 5'2", have a 51" waist, and weigh 320 lbs. and I'm not diabetic; therefore..." Or, "my cousin Clem is skinny as a beanpole and is diabetic." These are outliers folks and don't prove anything other than the exception proves the rule.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      Susan – So your point is that if someone doesn't have great eating habits all the time they'll be fat? Don't you see how impossible that standard is to maintain for the rest of your life, much less if you need to lose weight and have to deficit calories long-term? Metabolism is real and it makes a difference. People who are normal weight are that way because their metabolism adjusts for variants in intake - works like it is supposed to, that is. People whose metabolism doesn't work well have an incredibly hard time faking what comes effortlessly for most people, so it's not surprising that "dieting" doesn't work well. People aren't perfect. (And for those of normal weight who are about to respond about how wonderful their eating habits are and that's why they are normal weight, not because of some accident of metabolism - try writing down everything you eat for two weeks and see how perfect your eating habits really are. It's not just fat people who underestimate what they eat.)

      June 7, 2012 at 02:16 | Report abuse |
    • Inner City Fatso

      I'm jiggling my fat right now. Watcha gon do 'bout it?

      June 7, 2012 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
    • Ginny

      Skippy, please, you're fat because you eat too much, more than you need to at your advanced age. You're not fat because you went through menopause, you're fat because you eat too much.

      June 9, 2012 at 00:56 | Report abuse |
  4. bob

    GOOD JOB CNN. you published an article other news outlets published in 2011. maybe this is why your ratings suck

    June 5, 2012 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dover

      A: Then why are you here and B: they are second only to Yahoo. You must be from Faux News, which has half the following of CNN.

      June 6, 2012 at 01:03 | Report abuse |
    • GWC

      Doesn't hurt to get the message out again. People need to keep hearing this. Most people won't change until something is beaten into their heads.

      June 6, 2012 at 08:46 | Report abuse |
    • stopthemadness

      When will you trolls stop spouting made up statistics to make yourselves look good? Cnn is second only to Yahoo. Where does that put your favorite news site that you don't troll on?

      June 6, 2012 at 10:44 | Report abuse |
    • bob

      dover :
      try cbc, guardian, ..., or just about about any news agency except american. I use cnn to determine how uninformed americans are and how its news agencies like it that way. cnn reatings are hurting bad, lowest in 20 years. It must mean many americans are seeking alternative news for better information and in that sense, there is hope for america

      Good conclusion that I must watch fox news.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • Skinny Minny

      There's a fat guy recklessly jiggling his fat in the comments below.

      June 7, 2012 at 08:18 | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      The article says that this was a long-term study, following patients for over 17 years, so of course, it is not new information. But, it seems it is information that is necessary to repeat, over and over. If it was not, we would no longer have fat people, or people who have Type 2 diabetes.

      Besides, this is not the NEWS section of CNN. This is a BLOG. The difference is, this is specific information on a specific subject, and not necessarily time-sensitive.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    In other news, fat people are fat.

    June 5, 2012 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eroteme

      You just might be right! But fat is becoming the norm. Young ladies who are not fat look to be skinny, almost as strange as seeing a young lady in a dress.

      June 6, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      you should come to DC eroteme...most women I see on the street here – at least downtown – are skinny and wearing dresses. I love this place.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
  6. Jose

    I read another article today that said drinking soda and juice makes you slightly more likely to get diabetes than if you drink water. I'm glad we have researchers to give us this groundbreaking, incredibly insightful information.

    June 5, 2012 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jami

      Love it Jose! Whatever happened to a little thing called common sense. A family member (who survived cancer recently) found out she has type 2 diabetes and her immediate family just breezes over it like it's a normal part of aging. My mouth dropped when she told us then I sat stunned while everyone at the table just dismissed it like she had a cold or something. I feel scared for her, she eats from packages all day long and has diet soda for her liquids.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:24 | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      @ Jami – Common sense has been replaced with political correctness.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • E

      Only a little over 50-60 years ago, no one believed in risk factors for different diseases.

      Wasn't common sense then.

      Your "common sense" was built on the culminated evidence of studies done by such researchers.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      Jose...congrats...every comment board has one guy who says exactly what you just said about every study being reported on. Today that guy is you...thanks for your scientific input!

      June 7, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
  7. D

    Wiow- doesn't even seem like any of these commenters have read and/or understood the article. The point is that at least for white folks, the DISTRIBUTION of weight is MORE important than the weight itself. I am a thin person, but I will have to watch my weight when I get older because the one time I did get up to a whopping 126 pounds, all of the additional weight went right to my stomach. Legs and arms were as skinny as ever.

    June 6, 2012 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Illinois Mom

      LOL! "a whopping 126 pounds" 126 is only "whopping" if you are 4'6".

      June 6, 2012 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
    • stopthemadness

      I understand where you are coming from I was tiny as well growing up and have an 11 year old son who eats like a horse both literally and figuratively and he is only 58 pounds and very very short. Some people are genetically smaller that way I was until I hit my 20's at my 20's I went from being 135 pounds soaking wet to 215 pounds of pure meanness If it happens for you make sure you maintain proper eating habits and constant exercise and that will promote a long healthy life. My father is the same way as well he is almost 60 and has they body of a 20 year old cross country runner. SO keep working out and eatig right and you should b ok. By the way I am around 40 and still am in decent shape.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
  8. Bob

    Common sense dictates that a 40" waist is huge on a man 5 feet tall but not so big on someone 6'5" and 225lbs. Or is 40 just some magic number?

    June 6, 2012 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FiveLiters

      I thought the exact same thing! The only thing I can come up with,is for men,the "big and tall" section in most stores usually starts above size 40 in most cases. But if you -are- actually "big" or "tall"...?

      Or what if you suck in your stomach when they measure you? "I'm overweight!" (sucks it in) "Now I'm not!" (exhales) "Oops,I am,darnit!" lol

      June 6, 2012 at 09:52 | Report abuse |
  9. Pander Bear

    Wait a minute. Are you saying that my 56" waist makes me fat? Please bear in mind that I am 17 feet tall, give or take 12 feet or so.

    June 6, 2012 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Whome

    Why are they measuring around the guys stomach, his waist is about four inches lower?

    June 6, 2012 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BosMonkey

      Heh. Fat men and women have to wear their pants lower because of the big gut.

      June 6, 2012 at 07:59 | Report abuse |
    • Jac

      You obviously don't know how the waist is measured. For a woman: Locate your natural waist. The natural waist is the narrowest part of your waist, usually found just above your belly button. For a man: measure around the belly button.

      June 6, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      forrest for the trees?

      June 6, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
    • DuchessFeathers

      Because that is where his true waist is located. Your waist is in the middle of your body. Under that stuck out belly is his groin. You don't measure the groin.

      June 6, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
    • eroteme

      It is not necessary for some to measure the stommach or waist. Those and myself can recognize a fat person with measuring.

      June 6, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
    • eroteme

      correction: I meant to say without measuring.

      June 6, 2012 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
  11. John

    The one that matters is the waist/hip ratio. All the others are worthless indicators and a waste of time.

    June 6, 2012 at 06:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Susan O.

    I think it's a crock. When I had a 36" waist, I was extremely thin. This is a general assumption, and does not take into account height, bone structure, or family history. Through every pregnancy, doctors assumed I would be diabetic because I was large; I never – NEVER ONCE – had a higher blood sugar reading. Due to several medical conditions, my weight once shot up to 327 lbs, with a 45" waist. I was not diabetic. At all. Now, with my weight far below that, I have to be careful because I get low blood sugar. The more medicine learns that medicine must be individualized because one dose doesn't work for everyone, the more they try to simplify things down to one quick and easy solution, and it DOESN'T work.

    June 6, 2012 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BillRubin

      Seatbelts are a crock too. I never wore them as a child and I turned out ok. It doesn't matter that so-called "studies" say seat belts reduce mortality, I know someone that died in a car accident and he always wore a seatbelt. Seatbelts don't work for everyone, it must be individualized.

      June 6, 2012 at 06:43 | Report abuse |
    • fireundkrash

      """Seatbelts are a crock too. I never wore them as a child and I turned out ok. It doesn't matter that so-called "studies" say seat belts reduce mortality,"""

      Bill, you must be joking.

      I say that because otherwise I'd have to assume you're just s t u p i d and I'd really hate that. I investigate vehicular crashes (31 years now) and I gotta tell ya – you're alive today for some reason other than smarts.

      June 6, 2012 at 07:55 | Report abuse |
    • BosMonkey

      @fireundkrash – maybe it is luck that he's still alive?

      The problem is, people ahve gotten stupider over the decades, more self-involved, insensitive, careless. There weren't as many distractions (cell phones) 15 years ago either. Seatbelts are needed more than ever. You put yourself at risk whenever you get in the car these days and really have to watch out for other drivers' stupidity.

      June 6, 2012 at 08:03 | Report abuse |
    • Kam

      I think Bill is being sarcastic folks.

      June 6, 2012 at 09:29 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      bill is being obviously sarcastic. maybe you are the one who is s t u p i d. this is ridiculous.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      also, i agree with his mocking.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:30 | Report abuse |
    • stopthemadness


      "stupider" really? I think you mean more s t u p i d not "stupider" there is no such word and yet you proved your own point.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • Dan


      Of course he is being sarcastic. There is an underlying point to be made to Susan O., and it is pretty obvious. I hope you can out the point he is making.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      And for Susan O, 327 pounds is extremely unhealthy for a woman. If A man is about 6'10" and an avid weight lifter he might be healthy at 327 pounds. For a woman, that is extremely obese, and will lead to health problems. Diabetes is far from the only health problem associated with obesity.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
    • E

      You just haven't overwhelmed or burned out your insulin cells in the pancreas yet.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      susan o, http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lllt67lZZX1qakmif.png

      June 6, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • BillRubin

      I can't believe I have to say this – Yes! I was being sarcastic to point out the flaws of Susan O's logic.

      June 6, 2012 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
  13. Annie

    This will be very helpful to the medical community. I think its great that we have discovered how important waist size can really be as an indicator that you are at risk for diabetes. It makes sense that if your vital organs are covered by walls of fat, there would be some sort of negative consequence.

    June 6, 2012 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stopthemadness

      Why can't there be a freaking like button on this comment?

      June 6, 2012 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
  14. KLap

    Once again this article does not differentiate type 1 vs type 2 diabetes. As type 1 is autoimmune and genetic, waist size is irrelevant.

    June 6, 2012 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • P.J.

      Thanks for that info. I did not realize Type 1 was autoimmune. Glad I could learn something today.

      June 6, 2012 at 08:02 | Report abuse |
    • libby

      thank God someone else is smarter than CNN. i've had Type 1 for 15+ years and yes, it IS an auto-immnue disorder. less than 10% of the population of people with diabetes have Type 1. it is not 'brittle diabetes', it is not 'wow, you must have diabetes really bad because you have to take insulin'. no, it's a DISORDER where my BODY attacked my pancreas! do the research!

      June 6, 2012 at 08:34 | Report abuse |
    • Wicket

      "People who at the start of the study were merely overweight but also had a large waist – defined as 40 inches for a man and 35 inches for a woman – were more likely than obese people with normal or moderately large waists to develop type 2 diabetes, the researchers found."

      From the article, which very clearly specifiesType 2 diabetes.

      June 6, 2012 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      for the love of god KLap read the article before you mess up this thread with pointlessness.

      June 6, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
  15. mark

    My grandmother had diabetes and was skinny as a rail

    June 6, 2012 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Natch

    7.7% & 4%?? They call that concrete evidence of a trend?? LOL

    Genetic disposition has more to do with it than anything else.

    June 6, 2012 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill2

      you're wrong, of course

      June 6, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
  17. theresa

    "People who at the start of the study were merely overweight but also had a large waist – defined as 40 inches for a man and 35 inches for a woman – were more likely than obese people with normal or moderately large waists to develop type 2 diabetes, the researchers found."
    When does an obese person have a "normal or moderately large" waist?

    June 6, 2012 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • E


      How do you define obese?

      Some use BMI. Read the article for the criticism on that measure.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Body fat should be used to define obesity, not BMI. The waist to shoulder ratio is another one. Two people can be the same height, have the same waist size, and be very different in terms of body fat. One could have a narrow frame, with spindly shoulders, and a big waist. The other could have wide shoulders, wide hip bones, and very little fat around the waist.

      It is reallly pretty easy to see if someone is fat. Men look like great big apples, women look like great big pears.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • E

      Dan, I agree with you.

      Unfortunately, the medical definition for obesity is based on BMI.

      It'll take committees and years to change it.

      June 6, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
  18. Wicket

    The comments on this article make me weep for the state of science education in this country.

    June 6, 2012 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. CJ

    What they didn't note is that you should be concerned about becoming diabetic if your waist measurement is larger than your hip measurement....just attended a nutrition conference over the weekend that discussed this.

    June 6, 2012 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Lobo

    The belly fat and its size is being caused by the infectious agent responsible for the disease – these idiots cant culture the infectious agent that compromises the bile or insulin depending on where its colonized and blames everything and everybody because of their ineptness!!!!!!!!!!

    June 6, 2012 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • soulCatcher

      That infectious agent is called a twinkie.

      No that I got that off my chest, you have a good point:

      June 6, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      i'm worried you have a mental disorder.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      both of you

      June 6, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  21. commonCents

    Read my new book, "JUST PUT THE FORK DOWN." Your life will change for the better. FATSO.

    June 6, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Bill

    I have type 5 diabetes. You may not have ever heard of it before, because the drug companies are just inventing it now.

    June 6, 2012 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joshua

      Don't worry, I just patented a new blue sugar pill that will improve your quality of life while we continue to work on the cure, which is likely to be a red sugar pill.

      June 6, 2012 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
  23. Joshua

    The purpose seems to be to create a measurement that can be used in a clinical setting to predict diabetes risk. Why not let the physician use their common sense to determine which patients are overweight and need to be evaluated further. Then do an actual test, such as a body fat percentage measurement. This provides the best of both worlds. Time is not wasted measuring normal weight people and overweight people get a useful measurement.

    June 6, 2012 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. NK99

    Waist size may not be as good of an indicator as they might think. In my case I'm prone to getting abdominal hernias which cause "tummy bulges" like you see in the picture. I'm not obese and I'm skinny everywhere else.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • E

      Always the "look at me! i'm the exception!"

      Scientific studies are conducted in as controlled a situation as possible.

      If you're an exception (an apparent narcissistic mental disorder among most commenters), then yes it likely doesn't apply to you.

      Doesn't mean the findings don't apply to most of us.

      And I rather be with the "most of us," in whom the health profession can actually improve lives with this information.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      There is NO the picture depicts a hernia. I work in surgery, I know what hernias of all types look like.

      June 6, 2012 at 20:47 | Report abuse |
  25. soulCatcher

    This article is completely worthless. Correlation never means causation. Waist size is just another indicator.


    June 6, 2012 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • E

      Bradford Hill modified Koch s postulates for causality. There are 9 criteria, and most researchers are satisfied with 7 key ones. These were created to prove against the tobacco industry that smoking causes various diseases.

      This study combined with several others like it fulfill many, except reversibility. That criterion has been met with multiple small studies.

      I agree correlation itself does not equate with causality. However, I would not say this study failed it.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      thanks for the completely incorrect post.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • E

      Bill2, I certainly hope you are referring to soulCatcher.

      I know mine are usually factually correct but leave it to others to check them.

      Be a little clearer in your posts as to whom you're addressing.

      June 6, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      sorry, i was referring to soulcatcher. he has absolutely no idea what he is talking or providing links about.

      June 6, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  26. stateschool

    Dear cnn,
    Please keep running stories like these until fat people stop saying, "Big is beautiful!"

    June 6, 2012 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. eroteme

    How Wonderful! A New Study! Or is it a repeat of an Old Study? I read about the relationship of belly size and diabetes about 30 years ago, and this Study which was thought to be new then was most likely old. These great ones who coduct such 'studies' as this one should go hide. Those who continually provide us with their 'studies' have lost any credibility they may pfreviously have had. But on the other hand maybe these 'studies' do serve a positive purpose, they make the ones conducting their 'studies' feel they are benefiting society with their superior knowledge.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. palintwit

    What if you're pregnant all the time like those Palin women?

    June 6, 2012 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Fifi

    It is ridiculous to come up with ONE waistline limit for all women. Is the diabetes danger the same for a woman who is 5 feet tall and one who is 6 feet tall? Proportion is all.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Type1JuvieOnset

    THIS IS NOT NEWS. Doctors were saying this about children with apple shaped bodies 30 years ago. They were more likely to develop diabetes than pear shaped children.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. idunno

    BREAKING NEWS! Being fat is bad for your health! Way to be on top of things CNN. You're about 50 years behind the curve.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. hannah01

    The info in this article is NOT new!!! Why is CNN always giving us old news? Just filling up space on the site? Knock it off. It's aggravating.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Valentijn

    This is correlation, not causation. Since a virus is implicated in triggering both type I and type II to different extents, it's just as likely that extra abdominal fat is the result of that virus or diabetes itself.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • E

      I certainly hope you're not in the health profession.

      Those statements fly in the face of the overwhelming scientific evidence and everything practiced.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      somebody else with a mental disorder.

      June 6, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • E

      Bill2, referring to yourself?

      Again, please direct your statements properly.

      June 6, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      jesus i figured this one would at least be obvious. i'm sure you can figure it out, e.

      June 6, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
  34. billmosby

    The Wilford Brimley syndrome.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Lola

    There's only one thing on a man where size matters, and it's not the waist!

    June 6, 2012 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • E

      When waist is large enough that one can't see anything else (man or woman), I beg to differ.

      June 6, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
  36. Stephanie Turner

    Regarding thyroid problems, if treated properly, they are not a reason to be overweight. My thyroid is underactive to the point of not working at all and I must take medication daily to live. However, I am also 5'5 and 115 lbs. because in addition to meds, I eat right, and get a ton of exercise. Through my profession, I am aware of many people whose thyroid condition is much less severe than mine but they are overweight or obese because while they take medication, they also overeat and fail to exercise.

    June 6, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Byteme

    I get soooooo tired of people using the old "thyroid problem"excuse or the "I'm not fat, I'm just big-boned" excuse. I used to be morbidly obese almost 10 years ago. My problem is that I ate too much, I drank too many sugary sodas, and I didn't exercise.
    I'm surrounded by overweight colleagues everyday who spout off daily saying that they can't exercise because:
    – They have bad ankles, knees, neck, back, shoulder, etc. I said the same things too at one time, but after dropping 80 lbs., I'm now jogging at least 3 to 5 miles a day.
    – They don't have time to exercise. Again, I used to tell myself that too. Look, we have 24 hrs. in each day. To my knowledge, I don't think we're going to have any "extra" hours in each day. Here's the deal. We all have 8 hrs. to sleep, 8 hrs. to work, and leaves us with 8 hrs. I'll even give them 2 additional hrs. for work, and I'll give them 4 hrs. for the care, feeding, and transporting of their spouse/children if they have them. That still leaves 2 hrs.. To get a good cardio workout, you need to perform enough cardio to raise your heartrate for at least 20 minutes. You mean to tell me that you can't find at least 1 hr. out of every day to dedicate yourself to improving your health and fitness?
    – Obesity runs in my family. LMAO! This makes me laugh, because I used to tell myself that, and I do in fact come from a family with a LOT of obese relatives, BUT over eating can be a learned behavior as it was with me. As a child, I ate what was put before me. I ate, because I was told to eat. I over ate, because I saw others eat to excess. Over eating was my "normal", so it shouldn't be a shock that obese relatives can cause their children to become obese.

    Thanks goodness, as an adult, I just got sick and tired of blaming others for my obesity and being jealous and envious of those who were physically fit. After getting to my breaking point, I was determined that I was going to lose all of my excess weight, and get in the best possible shape of my life. Losing was weight was difficult, and keeping it off is even harder, BUT well worth it! Today, I'm not on any type of diet, and God knows I've tried many of them. My philosophy is that we live in a world with all kinds of wonderful foods, and I must learn to live with and develop a good and sensible relationship with them. I've never hired a personal trainer, because I don't think one is necessary for me, but fine if others choose to use them. I used to have different gym memberships all over the city, but cancelled them all and chose to do it on my own. I simply started out by walking short distances and increased the distances over time. Walking led to jogging.

    I know that there are some with legitimate health issues that cause them to gain or retain their excess weight, but for the MANY out there who give themselves a pass on doing anything about their obesity, you're only kidding yourselves. Personally, I used to try to convince myself to be "fat and happy", but that is something that doesn't exist...FOR ME.
    If you don't like what you see in the mirror, change it. If you don't feel like you can do it alone, seek help! However, wishing it away, willing it away, and making excuses are no good to anyone.

    If someone had told me years ago that I would be in the best shape of my life, I would have laughed in their face. I've kept my weight off going on 8 years. It's a life change that I intend to keep going as long as I wake up every day.

    June 6, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Poodles

    I stopped reading when you said BMI matters. For me to have a "healthy' BMI, I would be a stick. BMI does not factor in body style.

    June 6, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill2

      i doubt your stick claim. unless you have size 30 feet or are hiding your weight in some other ridiculous place. probably not, huh? unless you are a bodybuilder. probably not that either, especially with a name like 'poodles'.

      June 6, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
  39. eroteme

    We must keep working until we make the fat thin. A difficult endeavor but maybe if we were to give up our unsuccessful wars on poverty and drugs we would have time to declare war on fat. Bloomberg can lead us, he has already attacked the 32oz sugary drink. There will be some who now down two 16oz sugary drinks instead, but Bloomberg will surely have a solution for this. If we cannot win our war on fat people maybe we can just adapt the slogan, Fat is Beautiful.

    June 6, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mike

    I’ve been following the Paleo/Primal lifestyle for the past few months and have been seeing a great deal of success. Please read about my story and the method I followed here: http://mikeshonestreviews.com/paleoprimal-diet-review

    June 6, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. rod1148

    I've come to the conclusion that no one really cares. Obesity is on the rise and shows no signs of reversing. Do all the studies you wish and write all the articles you want, but it doesn't really matter. We're getting fatter as a nation while the one of the most popular shows on TV is Biggest Loser. Who could imagined 50 yrs ago that weight loss would become a spectator sport.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Ian Welch

    Health Nut vs Illness Nut

    On more than one occasion I have been called a Health Nut. In fact I have often overheard anyone trying to improve their personal situation as “nuts”.

    This morning on the elevator as I made my way up to my office I had one such encounter. I had at the time two “Green Machine” juices from WholeFoods.

    “What you drinkin, Ian? That’s your breakfast?!” (visualize an expression of complete disapproval with head shake).
    The gentlemen that made the remark to me is someone I know on a daily basis. He weighs over 300 pounds and has Type II Diabetes. He has known me several years and is very aware that I had bypass surgery a little over a year ago. He shares things with me from time to time, not inquisitively, more defending his situation. “My blood pressure is fine, my cholesterol is perfect.” Recently, he commented to me that he was hoping to qualify for a research trial to get free medication.

    His daily regimen includes 11 separate drugs, including insulin shots. That’s NUTS!

    Sometimes your body and mind need to RESET. There is a reason why your body is shutting down, why you are Diabetic or suffering from Obesity, or Depression. They are symptoms; actually more like desperate cries for help. “Pay attention to me now!”

    I had symptoms and ultimately I was diagnosed with 95% blockage in my left ventricular artery. That’s a pretty clear sign, ”Hey Big Guy, time to pay attention.” Having my chest sawed open and my heart stopped for three hours… NUTS!

    Full Post: http://wholefed.org/2012/06/07/health-nut-vs-illness-nut/

    Ian Welch

    June 7, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. goo6er

    Diabetes is the scourge of the Obama adminstration. Once he and his failed policies are thrown out of office you will see diabetes, heart disease, and ricketts all but eradicated.

    Psych! Just having some fun. You thought I was serious for a second, didn't you?

    June 7, 2012 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Nate

    My waist is 54 inches at the belly button. So that's bad?

    June 7, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Philippa

    I really appericate the fact that waist size is coming to the forefront. As a nurse for 23 years I see on a daily bases the complications of diabetes and other disease related to obesity. I struggled with my weight for years.. And to respond to the post about overweight people eat bad!! Not all true
    They could be positive got candida( yeast) which can cause weight loss resistance .. True!!
    I found plexus slim that was originallyade fir diabetics but now marketing as a weight loss product. People are losing weight and diabetics are coming off there medications.
    Check out the testimonies of plexus for your self
    At http://www.plexusslim.com/54817
    Plexus slim is an all natural weight loss product that promotes healthy eating and cuts cravings. No stimulants no caffeine and no meal replacements... There is help out there for those of us who are willing to ask for it. Have a wonderful blessed day..;)

    June 8, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. mitchlabuda

    We'll keep doing the same thing. Engage in habits that are unhealthy. The pharmaceutical companies and medicine in general will rush new drugs and procedures and tests, etc., to us. We will then in turn expect the doctor to do something, who will then prescribe a drug or two or three, while we engage in unhealthy habits in our quest for that magical elixir to save ourselves from ourselves.

    June 9, 2012 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. healthandweightlossisfun

    Weight loss is a key to controlling diabetes. A hassle free way to lose weight. The formula gives you a full feeling for 10-16 hours. A dose in the morning will limit available stomach space. It will practically limit your food intake. A powerful tool against obesity. Check out what you can benefit from this amazing Formula. Roca Labs Gastric Bypass no Surgery formula is making waves in the market today

    June 14, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Nadine

    Thanks for the comments! Losing weight is such a self satisfying feeling! You look better, think better and just feel good about being healthier and being able to do the things you want to do. Keep up the good work!!

    July 26, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Pre Diabetes Diet

    Great! Been searching for this information , thanks for posting, pre diabetes diet.

    September 12, 2012 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. China Hood

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    January 31, 2013 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.