Abdominal Obesity Measurement Guidelines for Different Ethnic Groups

The International Diabetes Federation’s definition of the metabolic syndrome uses ethnic-specific criteria to define abdominal obesity.

Country/Ethnic Group Waist Circumference Cut Points

Europids*

In the USA, the ATP III values

(102 cm male; 88 cm female)

are likely to continue to be used for

clinical purposes

Male: ≥ 94 cm

Female: ≥ 80 cm

South Asians
Based on a Chinese, Malay,

and Asian-Indian population

Male: ≥ 90 cm
Female: ≥ 80 cm
Chinese

Male: ≥ 90 cm
Female: ≥ 80 cm
Japanese** Male: ≥ 90 cm
Female: ≥ 80 cm

Ethnic South and

Central Americans

Use the South Asian recommendations

until more specific data are available

Sub-Saharan Africans

Use European data until

more specific data are available

Eastern Mediterranean

and Middle East (Arab) populations

Use European data until

more specific data are available

*In future epidemiological studies of populations of Europid origin, prevalence should be given using both European and North American cut points to allow better comparisons.

** Originally, different values were proposed for Japanese people but new data support the use of the values shown above.

Source: International Diabetes Federation consensus worldwide definition of the metabolic syndrome

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