Waist circumference gives a better prediction of diabetes risk than BMI, according to researchers at the German Institute for Nutritional Research in Potsdam-Rehbrucke.
Silke Feller and her colleagues concluded that predictive power of waist circumference for diabetes is particularly high for normal and underweight people (BMI less than 25).
Persons with a BMI of less than 25 points, but with a large waist circumference, have just as high a risk of developing diabetes, as pre-obese (BMI between 25- 30) women and men with low waist circumference.
The development of diabetes is particularly influenced by visceral fat tissue, which is metabolically more active than non-visceral fat.
Visceral fat can be more accurately assessed from the waist circumference with people of lower weight than with overweight people, as waist circumference in overweight people contains a high proportion of subcutaneous fat.
The conclusion is mentioned in the current edition of Deutsches Arzteblatt International.