We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Yes it is. Your waist size is not your belt size or jeans size though, especially if you wear them on your hips which most people do these days. Your waist is above your belly button, the potentially narrow space below your rib cage.
How to Measure Your Waist
How do you measure your waist? Sounds simple enough, but it’s not always obvious where your waist is. Posture and other variables can affect the reading, so here are some basic guidelines to follow:
Position a tape measure at the narrowest point between your lower rib and the top of your hip bone, or at the midpoint in between. It should be snug but not compress the skin. If you can’t find the narrowest point (it may be difficult if you’re very overweight), measure just above your belly button.
Stand straight and breathe out normally; don’t suck in your belly.
Measure your waist first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
Though there’s no magic cutoff point, values over 37 inches for men and 32 inches for women indicate increased health risks, according to the World Health Organization; values over 40 for men and 35 for women represent substantially increased risk.
I think this "theory" is probably true, at least statistically. But I suspect that it isn't about weight per se but rather about genetics. In other words I would tend to believe that a man with a waist normally below 37" who gains weight after age 65 and his waist is now 39" does not have any increased risk to his health based on this test. That the test is more about that person who exceeds these limits all or most of their lives because genetically they are "heavy", "obese", "short and dumpy" or have a big belly. Their mother or father was the same and their grandparents before them too. It is something mostly beyond their control.
because genetically they are "heavy", "obese", "short and dumpy" or have a big belly
That sort of raises the question why this phenotype was so rare just a generation or two ago. It certainly doesn’t appear to be a survival or mating advantage of any kind, so how does this variation become so common in such a short time? Is it more likely that plentiful and cheap food along with reduced need for physical labor is the culprit?
Most humans are genetically programed to gain and keep weight. IT is the survival trait most valued, to live through a famine and be one of the survivors to continue the human race. But that isn't the same thing as everyone being overweight. That is 50-100 years ago almost all of us worked off as many calories as we consumed AND many of us could not afford or didn't have access to high calorie food. Now we do have access to all kinds of food and we do not work nearly as physically hard BUT we are genetically the same people. It is just that now with machines doing the hard work and any food your heart desires is available 24/7 we can more easily fulfill our bodies genetic potential to store fat.
So it is indeed the "plentiful and cheap food along with reduced need for physical labor" BUT we have always had that genetic trait.