Obesity is now recognized as a major, independent risk factor for heart disease. If you're overweight or obese, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by successfully losing weight and keeping it off.
Waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) are indirect ways to assess your body composition. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is another index of body fat distribution. However, WHR is less accurate than BMI or waist circumference and is no longer recommended.