A report by the health charity Nuffield Health found the average waist measurement for women is almost 5cm larger than the recommended healthy size of less than 80cm. Researchers says it could lead to higher risk of cancer, diabetes and fertility problems.
– Nuffield Health
"Whilst waist size may seem like a cosmetic issue, this isn't about women fitting into their skinny jeans. Rather, it's an important indicator of overall health and well-being, particularly when taken into account with other health measurements.
The results for women highlight a worrying problem as fat being stored around the waist can contribute to significant health issues, such as breast cancer and infertility."
- 57% of women have a larger than healthy waist size
- 52.5% have a body mass index that exceeds the healthy range
- Women in the north of England have the largest waists, averaging 87cm
A separate report from Cancer Research UK found almost two-thirds of overweight people know the health risks but fail to do anything about it. They say 68% of women and 60% of men felt they did not have the willpower to shed the excess weight.
The charity says 19 thousand cases a year could be prevented if overweight or obese people started to exercise more and eat a healthy diet. Dr. Julie Sharp says carrying extra weight, particularly around the waist, increases the risk of cancer.