Waist calculator

Body shape ready reckoner

Being overweight isn't just a cosmetic problem, it can be a serious health hazard, increasing your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. The degree of risk not only depends on the amount of excess weight you are carrying, but where this weight has been stored.

Men tend to store excess fat around their stomach, developing an apple shape (or beer-belly as we affectionately know it!) Typically, women are more likely to develop a ‘pear’ shape, storing fat around the hips, bottom and thighs, although some groups of women are more prone to the apple shape, particularly African-Caribbean and Asian women and women during or after the menopause.

There are health implications for both apple and pear-shaped people, but carrying your fat around your stomach, carries a significantly greater health risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Your shape

To find out whether you're an apple or pear shape simply measure your waist and use our body shape ready reckoner below. To measure your waist place the tape horizontally around the stomach mid way between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips (usually in line with your tummy button!). Ensure that the tape is snug and not twisted, and does not compress the skin. Breathe out as normal, and take the measurement. (Men – don't rely on your trouser size – the tape measure must go over your tummy!)

To find out what your waist circumference indicates, fill in the boxes below and press calculate.


in cm *

Find your nearest group

Lose weight without hunger! You'll find more delicious recipe and menu ideas at your local group, along with all the help you need to get started and reach your target weight.

or become an online member

Featured success

Zoe’s size-10 gift to herself
Zoe’s size-10 gift to herself

Zoe, from Hengoed, Caerphilly, has lost nearly 5st!

Read more

Free 7 day menu

Free 7-day menu

Try Food Optimising for free with our 7-day menu… you'll love the results!

Read more