The world's largest waist, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was 119 inches — the circumference of a 1,400-pound man named Walter Hudson.
For comparison, the average adult male American weighs almost 198 pounds, is just over 5 feet 9 inches tall, and has a 40.2-inch waist.
The average American woman's waist size is 38.7 inches. She's not quite 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weights 170 pounds.
Against Walter Hudson’s girth, those numbers probably sound pretty reasonable. But it actually means that half the folks in the U.S. are above that average — in fact, 42.4% of men and women are obese.
When you're overweight or obese, visceral fat is packed around your internal organs, fueling inflammation and causing insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and increased risks of heart attack and stroke, breast and colorectal cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and perhaps dementia.
To avoid those outcomes, here are some of the best ways to trim fat, reduce your waistline (men to below 40 inches; women below 38), and fight aging-related health problems:
• Resistance training two to three times weekly using your body weight, stretchy bands, or weight machines.
• Eating a fiber-rich, plant-based diet with no red or processed meats, added sugars, or highly processed foods.
• Seven to eight hours of sleep nightly; too little or too much packs on visceral fat.
• Stress management to lower chronically elevated levels of the hormone cortisol that encourage added belly fat.