Be a healthy weight

Aim to be a healthy weight throughout life.

According to our Second Expert Report, maintaining a healthy body weight is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer, after not smoking.

Monitoring your weight regularly is a helpful way of keeping it in check. Two simple methods are commonly used to evaluate your body fat and your risk of developing diseases – calculating body mass index (BMI) and measuring your waist.


BMI is the most frequently used means of measuring obesity. However, it does not give us information about how fat is distributed in our body. The adverse effect of excess weight is more pronounced when the fat is concentrated mainly in the abdomen. Use our BMI Calculator to find out if you are at a healthy weight!

Waist measurement

Another way to evaluate your body is measuring the circumference of the waist. Excess fat around your waist is linked to a greater risk of cancer, including colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer.

To measure your waist:

  1. Place a tape measure around your waist at the narrowest point between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hipbone
  2. Make sure the tape is snug but doesn’t compress your skin
  3. Measure after breathing out

A healthy waist measurement:

Women Less than 80cm/31.5"
Men (Asian)
Less than 90cm/35.5”
Less than 94cm/37"

The best strategy to prevent weight gain is to maintain your energy balance, by having a healthy diet and being physically active. There is no short cut to staying lean and healthy. Why not take our "100-Calorie Challenge" for a gradual, but achievable weight loss and help maintain a healthy weight for cancer prevention?