The waist is the part of the abdomen (belly) that is
between the ribs and the hips.  The waistline is the
horizontal  part of the waist that is the narrowest and
reflects the general appearance of the waist. This is the
part of the body that people who diet try to decrease.
The waist to hip ratio measures the proportion of fat
that is present around the torso. Excessive waist size
reflects obesity of the abdomen, which is a risk factor
for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke (rupture
of blockage of an artery in the brain), cancer, and
diabetes mellitus.
The waist being measured.
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Diabetes mellitus is a complex, long-term disorder in which the body is not able to
effectively use a natural chemical called insulin. Insulin's main job is to quickly absorb
glucose (a type of sugar) from the blood into cells for their energy needs and into the fat
and liver (a large organ that performs many chemical tasks) cells for storage.

Women naturally have smaller waistlines than men, although obesity can cause some
women to have bigger waistlines than some men. Ideal waist size for men and women
depends on a personís height. General guidelines are that a womanís waist should be 32
inches of less and that a manís waist should be 38 inches or less. Waist size can be
measured with measuring tape placed about an inch above the abdomen. Waist comes
from the Old English word "waest" meaning "growth."

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