A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins scientists found that looking at a man's waistline gives a better idea of his diabetes risk than a body-mass index, which looks at fat from all parts of the body. Instead, waist circumference targets only the mid section.
"Fat that we carry right here in the mid section is what puts us at risk for developing diabetes," said registered dietician for Martha Jefferson Hospital, Rita Smith. "The fat gets in the way of our body using insulin, and so we become insulin resistant."
The study found that men with waistlines bigger than 34 inches were at least twice as likely to have diabetes. Those with sizes 40 inches and greater were up to a dozen times more likely to have Type 2 Diabetes. Experts say that the study applies to women as well.
Tuesday, March 22nd was also American Diabetes Alert Day. Martha Jefferson provided free blood sugar testing at Wal-Mart. Experts said it was meant to increase public awareness and also to help identify people at risk.