Does your waist measure more than half your height? If so, you are considered “overfat,” as are 90 percent of men, 80 percent of women, and half of children in the U.S., according to a 2017 article in Frontiers in Public Health. Overfat is a broader category than overweight or obesity because it includes people who are at normal weight but have excessive abdominal fat.
The paper looked at the prevalence of overfat people in 30 developed countries and found that the U.S., New Zealand, and Greece topped the list, with only modestly lower numbers in most of the other countries. Abdominal fat is strongly linked to metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.
Waist-to-height ratio “may be the single best clinical indicator of health risk,” according to the researchers. Other research suggests that waist circumference of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women indicates high risk.
Also see Measuring Body Weight: Beyond BMI.