In 2010, the average neck circumference for women, per Good Housekeeping, was 13.5 inches. Just below the Adam’s apple, the circumference of the neck can be measured by tightly wrapping a tape measure around the neck.
Many heart disease studies have focused on waist circumference. There is evidence, however, that the neck circumference is also an indicator of heart disease risk. Researchers from the Framingham Heart Study found in a 2009 study of 3,320 participants that neck fat may be associated with high cholesterol and diabetes. These can cause cardiovascular disease. The risk of heart disease increases if a man’s neck circumference is greater than 16 inches and a woman’s neck circumference is greater than 13 inches, according to the researchers.