German researchers: Waist circumference a better predictor of diabetes
As part of the quest to pinpoint the most effective approaches to diabetes risk assessment, a team of researchers has found that, contrary to a popular belief, waist circumference can be a better predictor of diabetes than body mass index (BMI).
Currently, doctors are asked to follow the guidelines that suggest that a BMI greater than 25 suggests an increased risk of developing insulin resistance. However, scientists from the German Institute for Nutritional Research in Potsdam-Rehbrucke conducted a study that found that individuals who have a BMI within the norm but have a large waist circumference are just as likely to develop diabetes as pre-obese individuals, i.e. those whose BMI is between 25 and 30.
The scientists explain that the rationale behind their conclusion is that excess visceral fat - which is best measured by waist circumference - has been linked to a greater risk of metabolic disorders because it is more metabolically active than other types of fat.
The results are presented in the current edition of Deutsches Arzteblatt International
According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 23 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes.