Research carried out by the health charity, Nuffield Health, has discovered that 57 percent of women in the UK have a waistline which is larger than what is deemed healthy.
Data from a study of 30,000 women was examined to find that over half of the participants were too large around the midriff, leaving themselves more vulnerable to illness and future health problems.
A healthy size of a women’s waistline is thought to be 80cm or less, but the average waistline recorded across the study reported figures 4.9cm larger than that, indicating a general, worrying trend in the country.
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Data collated from women living in the north of the England produced the largest average sizes, over 5cm larger than those living in London at 87cm.
Furthermore, the researchers from the charity also found that 52.5 percent of the women in the study had a body mass index adjudged to be above healthy levels. 16.2 percent were assessed as moderately or morbidly obese.
An unhealthily large waistline, as well as a high body mass index, has been directly linked to health problems such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, while in women, fertility concerns are also raised.
Dr Davina Deniszczyc, Professional Head of Physicians and Diagnostics at Nuffield Health voiced her concerns over the findings: "Whilst waist size may seem like a cosmetic issue, this isn't about women fitting into their skinny jeans. Rather, it's an important indicator of overall health and well-being, particularly when taken into account with other health measurements.
"The results for women highlight a worrying problem as fat being stored around the waist can contribute to significant health issues, such as breast cancer and infertility."