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A Simple Yet Complicated Tool: Measuring Waist Circumference to Determine Cardiometabolic Risk

Serviente, Corinna; Sforzo, Gary A. Ph.D., FACSM

doi: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e3182a956f5

LEARNING OBJECTIVE To give exercise professionals and other clinicians an understanding of the issues complicating waist circumference as a clinical measure while providing information on how to use this simple tool to determine cardiometabolic risk and intervention (e.g., exercise or weight loss program) effectiveness.

This article highlights the use of waist circumference measurement to screen for cardiometabolic risk while alerting the clinician to confl icting professional recommendations. Suggestions are given for application of waist circumference measurements in a clinical setting.

Corinna Serviente is a recipient of the Charles A. Dana Summer Scholarship, an alumnae of the Clinical Exercise Sciences program at Ithaca College and a Certified Exercise Specialist. She is currently a graduate student at University of Massachusetts.

Gary A. Sforzo, Ph.D., FACSM, is a professor and a coordinator of the Clinical Exercise Sciences Program in the Department of Exercise & Sport Sciences at Ithaca College. He has published extensively in fitness and wellness research. He is a fellow and an active member of the American College of Sports Medicine for more than 25 years.

Funding disclosure: none

Department of Exercise & Sport Sciences, Ithaca College, Ithaca NY.

Corresponding Author: Gary A. Sforzo, Ph.D., FACSM, Department of Exercise & Sport Sciences, 323 Center for Health Sciences, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 14850 E-mail:

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest and do not have any financial disclosures.

© 2013 American College of Sports Medicine.