Women with a waist larger than 88cm face an increased risk of early death – even if they have a "healthy" weight, researchers have warned.
It means those with a dress size 18 or above could be in danger, even if they have always been told they do not need to worry about their weight.
The research found middle-aged women with a waist exceeding 88cm had a 30% raised risk of early death.
The findings cast into doubt the validity of body mass index – the standard measure of whether someone is of a healthy weight. Experts stress that BMI, which is calculated by dividing weight by the square of your height, does not differentiate between muscle and fat.