Humor me for a moment. Unplug your mouse, stand up and wrap the cable around your hips. Now wrap it around your waist. Did it take more of the cord to go around your waist than your hips? If so, you have increased risk for disease. Okay, you can plug your mouse back in.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK):
Men with waist-to-hip ratios greater than 1.0 are generally considered to have “excess fat” and be at higher risk for disease. For women, the number is 0.8. (source)
If you’re concerned about heart disease, the waist-to-hip-ratio (WTHR) is a better measure of risk than body mass index (BMI).
“BMI is a very weak predictor of the risk of a heart attack,” said Salim Yusuf, lead author and director of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. “Measuring the girth of the waist and (the) girth of the hip is far more powerful.” (ibid)
Interestingly, having a lot of fat near your central organs is not good for you and the WTHR is a good measure of that fat. Read the complete article for more information.
So go get some exercise — and throw out that scale.