According to studies people who have extra fat around their waistline (i.e. having apple-shaped obesity) tend to have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease as compared to those people who gain fat around their hips, buttocks and thighs (i.e. have pear-shaped obesity). Infact, besides Body Mass Index (i.e. weight of a person with respect to their height), waist circumference can be used as an important measure to know the risk of diseases associated with being obese.
Studies have shown that the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes increases with the increase in the BMI and waist circumference. BMI and waist circumference are very simple, inexpensive and reliable tools that can be used to assess the risk status of a person.
Hence, it is recommended that all primary care physicians should use both these tools to assess the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This will help them to suggest necessary precautions to their patients even before the disease develops.