Background: Obesity has been traditionally viewed as a protective factor for fractures. Recent studies have challenged this concept, particularly regarding abdominal obesity. We aimed to investigate the association between abdominal obesity, body mass index (BMI) and fragility fractures prevalence in a sample of community-dwelling elderly Israeli women. Methods: The data in this cross-sectional study were based on ‘Mabat Zahav’—a survey of a nationally representative sample of elderly Israelis. The study population included 669 women. Data on fragility fractures site and circumstances were self-reported, and height, weight, waist and calf circumferences were measured. Waist circumference (WC) variable was divided into tertiles: < 88 cm, 88–99 cm and > 99 cm. Results: Sixty-five women reported fragility fractures (14 hip fractures, 18 vertebral fractures and 39 wrist fractures). Mean age was 73.9 ± 5.9 years, mean BMI was 29.9 ± 5 kg/m2 and mean WC was 93.9 ± 12 cm. While BMI was not associated with osteoporotic fractures, abdominal obesity (WC > 88 cm) was positively associated with fragility fractures, independently of age, smoking, physical activity [middle and high WC tertiles 3.15 (95% CI 1.41–7.02), 2.78 (95% CI 1.05–7.31), respectively]. Conclusions: Among this sample of elderly women, abdominal obesity was positively associated with fragility fractures, independently of age, smoking, physical activity and BMI. Waist circumference, an easily measured anthropometric indicator, may be useful for assessing the risk of fragility fractures in elderly women, particularly among those with normal or high BMI—a vast population which has been traditionally considered as having lower fracture risk. © 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.