Coronavirus (COVID-19) : stay up to date with the latest news and updates. Find out more. See related articles

Watching your waistline is not just about vanity, it’s about health

Written by: Dr Mark Vanderpump
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Despite the increased concern about our nation’s obesity and the fact that type 2 diabetes has tripled over the last 30 years, the term “prediabetes” has been recognised relatively recently.

Usually diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 70, prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than it should be but not high enough to be considered as being within the diabetes range. However, associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol - it should not be dismissed.

What causes prediabetes?

If you’re overweight, especially if you carry fat centrally around your abdomen, your body is likely to be more insulin-resistant, meaning that it either doesn’t make enough insulin or it doesn’t use it well. For European men, this applies when the waist is greater than 102cm (40 inches) and for women, and Asian men,  when it’s more than 88cm (34.5 inches). And I hate to tell you this, but most people believe their waist to be least 7.5 cm (3 inches) less than it actually is. Sorry!

How is it diagnosed?

A blood test called glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) assesses blood sugar levels over the preceding three months.

Take control if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes

Fortunately around 80% of cases can be delayed or prevented by actively pursuing a healthier lifestyle which entails:

• losing weight

• a low salt, sugar and fat diet which is rich in fruit and vegetables

• being more physically active and taking moderate exercise, such as walking 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week

By Dr Mark Vanderpump
Endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism

Dr Mark Vanderpump is a highly experienced endocrinologist with a career spanning over 30 years. His main area of expertise is thyroid disease, but his clinic practice includes all aspects of diabetes and endocrinology. He also sees referrals of less frequently occurring conditions such as thyroid cancer; pituitary conditions such as acromegaly; and adrenal disorders including Addison's disease, plus calcium and bone disorders.

He is the former President of the British Thyroid Association, serves on several boards, and lectures on diabetes and thyroid disease. He is widely published in research papers and has published a book on the subject of thyroid disease.

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. Click ‘Enter’ to continue browsing. Enter Cookies policy