Cut the Waist

Cut the Waist

Illustrative photo for 'Cut the Waist'
A modest reduction in waist circumference can have significant long term health benefits

Prevention and screening

This important section of the Cut the Waist website concentrates upon screening in order to identify those who are most at risk of the metabolic complications of obesity such as type 2 diabetes and cholesterol problems.

Cut the Waist fully supports the Department of Health plans to make "vascular screening" health checks available to adults from 40-74years of age.

Waist circumference and vascular screening

Waist circumference measurement is a useful tool as part of the vascular screening health checks as it helps to determine whether body fat is stored centrally. It is important that vascular screening is able to identify patients who store their body fat centrally as it is these patients whom are likely to benefit most from weight and waist reduction.

Some regions are using BMI measurements for vascular screening, but if BMI is being measured, it is important to be aware of the limitations of attempting to use BMI for the purpose of individual patient assessment. BMI may be used in conjunction with waist circumference measurement to provide the most useful information for the purposes of vascular screening.

In summary, as BMI measurement tells us nothing about body fat distribution and abdominal obesity, it is an important for the medical profession to ask the question:

"Does the use of BMI in isolation really 'measure up' for the purpose of vascular screening?"

Vascular screening:
Why your patients should know their waist circumference

Illustration of the importance of abdominal obesity
BMJ 2001; 322: 716-720. Reproduced with permission from the BMJ Publishing Group

Screening and helping patients to reduce their abdominal obesity provides a chance to manage those at risk and treat the cause rather than wait to manage their future complications.