New research suggests that not only your weight, but your waist size, plays an important role in determining how long you live. Researchers found, after looking at the data from 100,000 men and women, that those with the largest waistlines have about twice the risk of dying.
They even found that big-waisted people with healthy body mass indexes had a higher risk of dying. Every 4 inch increase in waist size was associated with a 25% greater risk of death, says Eric Jacobs, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society.
The study found that the ideal waist size is less than 35 inches for men and 30 inches for women.
Jacobs explains that the take-home message from this study is: “It’s important to watch your waist, not just your weight and to start eating better and exercising more if you see your waist size starting to increase.”