The world is getting rounder, one person at a time.
Researchers looking at global data find that more people are getting bigger around the midsection over the last couple decades, with the sharpest increase over the last five years.
Now, we're not just talking about people being overweight, though that is certainly part of the problem. This trend shows up even among normal-weight people
And this is not your father's pot belly paunch. Data show that the greatest increase in average waist circumference is among people aged 20 to 29!
Why does it matter? Waist Circumference is very closely correlated with several major health risks, including heart disease and diabetes. People who tend toward an apple-shaped body suffer more frequently from these illnesses than folks whose body fat tends to be around their hips and thighs.
Healthy men should have a waist no bigger than 40 inches across the belly button. And for women, no more than 35. If it is more, you may have bigger worries than just your weight.