(HealthDayNews) -- You may have heard that a high body mass index raises your risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But research has shown that other body measurements -- like your waistline -- can also affect disease risk, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation says.
So take your tape measure, stand with your feet together, and measure midway between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hipbones.
Here's what the numbers show:
- If your waist circumference is 36 inches or more, your weight distribution probably is unhealthy and you're at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.
- The lower your hip to waist ratio, the better. For example, a woman with a 30-inch waist and 40-inch hips would have a ratio of .74 and be at low risk; one with a 41-inch waist and 39-inch hips would have a ratio of 1.05 and be at increased risk.