Pocket tape measure for waist circumference: Training medical students and residents on a simple assessment of body composition

Jo Ann S Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Metabolic syndrome, the clustering of hyperglycemia, hypertension and dyslipidemia, increases the risk of coronary heart disease, Abdominal obesity is an important cue for the clinician to consider metabolic syndrome, Measurement of waist circumference is a simple means of identifying abdominal obesity. The development and distribution of pocket tape measures to medical students, residents and attending physicians were initiated to enhance identification and treatment of metabolic syndrome. Distribution of the tape measures was added to a cardiovascular nutrition component in a 4th-y medical school curriculum. The nutrition component continued to include computer-based cases and pocket reference cards, Limited data suggest that the addition of pocket tape measures to the nutrition component of an ambulatory care clerkship may increase the percentage of medical students who use waist circumference to identify patients at risk for metabolic syndrome. It is anticipated that student use will increase with role modeling by residents and attending physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547S-549S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003



  • Medical education
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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