How to take the measurement
The beauty of this measurement is that you can do it in centimetres or inches, it doesn’t matter. Find your waist, which is halfway between the lowest rib and the hip bone or the narrowest point of your body and just above your belly button and don’t breathe in.
And here is an online calculator that does the work for you
Why this Kind of Fat is Most Dangerous, Say Experts
This extract below is taken from:
Generally, putting on excess amounts of body fat is no reason to celebrate. But adding a certain type of body fat is a particular cause for concern. Visceral fat (also known as belly fat or abdominal fat) lies deep within the abdomen, where it sits close to—and can literally poison—various vital organs. That increases your risk of serious disease, including one of the most-feared disorders of aging, a new study has found.
What Is Visceral Fat?
There are two kinds of body fat: subcutaneous fat (the fat that lies just underneath the skin, which you can grab or pinch) and visceral fat.
Visceral fat lies well beyond your reach, underneath the abdominal muscles. It sits near vital organs like the stomach, intestines, liver, and pancreas. That's dangerous, because visceral fat is actually metabolically active—it releases hormones, toxins and other damaging substances into those nearby organs.
"Troublemaker fat" is how Dr. Gail Greendale, a professor of medicine at UCLA, recently described visceral fat in the New York Times.
Health Risks of Visceral Fat
Excess visceral fat raises your risk of serious health conditions, including:
Type 2 diabetes
Fatty liver disease
Polycystic ovary disease
Additionally, a new study has found that carrying extra visceral fat may damage the brain.
Visceral Fat May Impact the Brain, Too
The study, published this week in JAMA Network Open, suggests that having excess body fat (both visceral and overall) may increase your risk of reduced cognitive function. The risk of cognitive disorders like dementia (the most common form of which is Alzheimer's disease) increases naturally with age. Carrying extra visceral fat in middle age and beyond may be a prohibitive strike against maintaining optimal brain health in your golden years.
The researchers analysed the body fat levels of nearly 9,200 people, about 6,700 of whom underwent MRI scans to measure their levels of vascular (blood vessel) injury and abdominal fat. The scientists found that people who had more visceral fat had higher levels of vascular injury and scored lower on cognitive tests—even after adjusting for other risk factors for those conditions. "Strategies to prevent or reduce adiposity [body fat] may preserve cognitive function among adults," the researchers wrote.
How to Slash Visceral Fat
Research suggests these can be effective ways to reduce or prevent belly fat:
Get enough sleep. Scientists at Wake Forest University found that dieters who slept five hours or less every night put on 2.5 times more belly fat than people who got a good amount of sleep—seven to nine hours a night.
Exercise regularly. According to a 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients, exercise reduces visceral fat even if you don't lose weight. Exercise spurs the liver to burn nearby stores of visceral fat.
Avoid added sugar. "Fructose, or sugar, causes fat cells to mature faster, specifically in the visceral fat," says the Cleveland Clinic. To burn belly fat, avoid foods high in added sugar, like sugar-sweetened beverages, refined carbs, sweets, and processed foods.
It’s also important to keep and to build your muscles. Work out with weights, do resistance training like push-ups and sit-ups.
Eat smart. Studies suggest that more calcium and vitamin D in your body may be linked to less visceral fat. So load up on leafy greens like collards and spinach. Tofu and sardines are also good picks, as are dairy foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk.
Reduce stress. Chronic feelings of stress cause the brain to produce more cortisol, a.k.a. "the stress hormone." Among its functions is a holdover from caveman times: Cortisol tells the body to store fat around the midsection in case it's needed for fuel during an imminent emergency.
On the other hand, certain foods seem to encourage belly fat. One of them is trans fats, which are found in meats and dairy as well as in deep-fried or processed foods. Also bad are fizzy drinks, sweets, processed baked goods, and other foods sweetened with fructose. So read the labels and avoid ingredients like “partially hydrogenated oils” or “high-fructose corn syrup.” And follow the usual rules for healthy eating, with lots of fresh produce, whole grains like wheat breads and oatmeal, and lean protein like skinless chicken, fish, eggs, beans, and low-fat dairy.