Wider-waisted women may have an increased risk of premature death—even if they’re not obese. In a 16-year-long study of 44,636 women, those with waists at least 35 inches wide had a 79% higher chance of premature death, compared with those with waists of 28 inches or less. That held true even for women who weren’t overweight, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“People can be very comfortable with their weight and not be aware that due to their waist circumference they are at increased risk,” said one obesity researcher. The large-waisted were twice as likely to die of cardiovascular disease and 63% more likely to succumb to cancer. Though the study only looked at women, researchers suspect men would produce similar results.