It’s one thing suspecting you might need to lose weight , but going about calculating this can be a different matter.

If you want a quick answer – without calculating your BMI – then all you need is a piece of string to tell you whether you’re overweight or not.

Not only does the test take no time at all, but it can also flag the potential heath problems related to obesity/being overweight, which include heart disease , stroke and some cancers.

In fact, it’s also MORE effective than calculating your BMI.

It focuses on your visceral fat

The nifty tip comes courtesy of Dr Margaret Ashwell, who shared it on  BBC’s The Truth About Obesity , last year.

Before you do the test, its important to know that your waist measurement should be no more than half your height.

So, all you need to do is take a piece of string and cut it to the same length as your height.

You then fold it in half and wrap it around your waist.

If the string meets or overlaps then you’re a healthy weight.

But, if you struggle make the ends meet then that means you are overweight or obese, which is indicated by high levels of visceral (or tummy) fat.

Dr Margaret Ashwell demonstrated how to use the simple test on BBC’s The Truth About Obesity

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Weight loss successes

Visceral fat, which sits around the vital organs in your abdomen, is an effective red flag because too much of it may lead to diseases like cancer, hear disease and type 2 diabetes.

“It’s a physical presence, it wraps around the heart, the liver, the pancreas and that raises the risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and [high] blood pressure ,” Dr Ashwell said.

Dr Ashwell also points out that it’s a more accurate way of assessing your health than working out your BMI, because people with a healthy BMI can still carry too much visceral fat.





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