Even if the scale says your weight is in the acceptable range, your belly could be telling a different story. Recent studies have found that those with a normal weight who have excess belly fat are putting the same risk on their lives as those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. We were as shocked at the news as you are.
John Cloud recently wrote about this research for Time. Cloud reported on the findings of a 14-year study led by Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez – a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Lopez-Jimenez concluded that those who have a normal weight but have concentrated “central” or belly fat are more than 50 percent more likely to die earlier from issues like cardiovascular disease and other ailments than those who are obese.
This conclusion was found after researchers followed nearly 13,000 Americans for 14 years. The test subjects were divided up into categories based on their Body Mass Index (BMI) and their waist-to-hip ratios. At the end of the study, approximately 2,500 subjects had died. The analysis of the deceased found that those in the normal BMI/high waist-to-hip ratio group had the highest mortality rate. These mortality risk rates were compared to smokers who smoke nearly one pack of cigarettes a day. These are pretty staggering rates for people who aren’t even overweight. (more…)
Beer belly, muffin top, spillage, or gut. Whatever you call it, that large waist may be more dangerous than originally thought. A recent research publication states that a large waist is an important warning sign for diabetes.
CNN Health reported about a 17-year study regarding waist measurements and what they mean for our health. Previously, Body Mass Index (BMI) was the standard form of measurement to help determine if one’s weight was putting their health at risk. But more recently, the height-to-weight ratio has come under criticism as it fails to distinguish fat from muscle and it doesn’t focus on the location of fat on the body. This study found waist size to be a better marker of health risks like diabetes.
Researchers in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in the UK, measured the waist size and BMI of nearly 30,000 middle-aged Europeans. This group was followed for 17 years. Those who started overweight, not obese, yet had a large waist were more likely than obese people with normal or moderately sized waists to develop type 2 diabetes. A large waist is defined as 40 inches for a man and 35 inches for a woman. (more…)
The beginning of January is often considered the season of weight loss due to the many individuals who choose to embark on this type of mission as soon as the new year begins. In fact, fighting the battle of the bulge is one of the most common new year’s resolutions set year after year. And although it sounds like a good idea at the time, very few people actually follow through with this sort of resolution. In fact, a third of individuals will give up on their lofty weight loss dreams by the end of the first month.
This year, instead of focusing on becoming thin, why not focus on improving your health and shrinking your waist instead. Although it may seem weird to focus on the size of your waist this year, it’s often considered a better indicator of health and it’s quite common for individuals to achieve an appropriate waist size before they notice numbers changing on the scale.
The fat that collects around your middle can often lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes if too much is present. Although you can’t specifically target this area of your body and only lose weight here, individuals often see their abdominal fat stores shrink by 10-30% when they lose as little as 5-10% of their overall body weight. This means that your waist measurements may fall into a healthy range even before you hit your desired weight. (more…)
UPDATE: This episode will air again on August 23, 2011.
Tune in this Friday, October 8 to The Doctors to learn why size matters when it comes to your health.
Find out when bigger is better, and when you’re better off being smaller. You may be surprised by the interesting evidence The Doctors have to share about size and your health. (more…)
It’s well known that retailers have been letting clothing sizes inch out in all directions. What was a size 12 dress in the 1950’s will probably carry a size eight label or even a size six label today. But there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly disingenuous about resizing garments to fit and ever-fatter population, although it is somewhat misleading.
But what about clothes that carry actual measurements? Esquire investigated seven brands of men’s pants that claim to have a 36-inch waist band. Their findings? Almost every clothing manufacturer is trying to flatter consumers by selling pants that have much more fabric than they clam.