1. Fitness and obesity: Even the normal-weight should watch that apple shape

Fitness and obesity: Even the normal-weight should watch that apple shape

Fitness and obesity: A pot belly can be a bad thing - even if a person is not considered overweight. New research suggests normal-weight Americans who carry their fat at their waistlines may be at higher risk of death over the years than overweight or obese people whose fat is more concentrated on the hips and thighs.

By: | Published: November 10, 2015 1:03 PM

Fitness and obesity: A pot belly can be a bad thing – even if a person is not considered overweight. New research suggests normal-weight Americans who carry their fat at their waistlines may be at higher risk of death over the years than overweight or obese people whose fat is more concentrated on the hips and thighs.

Monday’s study signals the distribution of fat matters whatever the scale says.

”If the waist is larger than your hips, you’re at increased risk for disease,” said Dr. Samuel Klein, an obesity specialist at Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis, who wasn’t involved in the new research.

It also has implications for advising patients whose body mass index or BMI, the standard measure for weight and height, puts them in the normal range despite a belly bulge.

”We see this with patients every day: `My weight is fine, I can eat whatever I want,”’ said study senior author Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, preventive cardiology chief at the Mayo Clinic. ”These results really challenge that.”

Abdominal fat – an apple-shaped figure – has long been considered more worrisome than fat that settles on the hips and below, the so-called pear shape. Risk increases for men if their waist circumference is larger than 40 inches (102 centimeters) and 35 inches (88 centimeters) for women. Still, doctors typically focus more on BMI than waistlines; after all, girth tends to increase as weight does.

But a BMI in the normal range may not give the full story for people who are thin but not fit, with more body fat than muscle, or who change shape as they get older and lose muscle, Lopez-Jimenez said.

His study analyzed what’s called waist-to-hip ratio, dividing the waist circumference by the hip measurement. There are different cutoffs, but a ratio greater than 1 means a bigger middle.

Researchers checked a government survey that tracked about 15,000 men and women with different BMIs – normal weight, overweight and obese. More than 3,200 died over 14 years.

At every BMI level, people with thicker middles had a higher risk of death than those with trimmer waists, the researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. In the study, 11 percent of men and 3 percent of women were normal weight but had an elevated waist-to-hip ratio. Surprisingly, they were at greater risk – for men, roughly twice the risk – than more pear-shaped overweight or obese people.

Fat that builds around the abdominal organs is particularly linked to diabetes, heart disease and other metabolic abnormalities than fat that lies under the skin, said obesity expert Dr. Lisa Neff of Northwestern University, who wasn’t involved the study.

Blood tests typically show higher blood sugar and triglyceride levels in people with a belly bulge, so doctors might spot their risk without a tape measure, Klein noted.

Genetics plays a role in apple shapes and waistlines tend to increase with age, so Neff and Klein advised even normal-weight people to pay attention if belts are getting tighter.

Sorry, sit-ups aren’t the solution, they said: Like all weight loss, it requires a healthier diet and general physical activity to burn calories.

  1. Ivory Greene
    Nov 11, 2015 at 2:14 am
    With all the glamour, vanity, and entertainment ociated with the current presidential elections, it is so easy for people in this country to NEGLECT and IGNORE the SEVERE health problems that are happening RIGHT NOW in their own homes both with themselves AND with their CHILDREN. In fact, with so many people TUNED IN to this extravagant political circus DROOLING over the excessive wealth of their top candidates, it is only CUSTOMARY in this country that EXCESSIVE SNACKING occurs concurrently with their entertainment engagement. No matter how many studies and articles are presented in the news about America’s GROWING health problems each day in our OVERWHELMING present day media society, they always seem to be OVERSHADOWED by the news of politicians, celebrities, social media pority, new technology, holiday spending, AND of course…HOLIDAY EATING! It is time for people in this country to WAKE UP and take EXTREME NOTICE to an EXTREME PROBLEM in this country. AMERICANS ARE RAPIDLY GAINING WEIGHT AND GETTING SICK and they are brushing it off because they see so many others like themselves (including celebrities and politicians) in the same predicaments. The latest studies show that 60 PERCENT of Americans are on some type of PRESCRIPTION DRUG. Have people in this country LOST THEIR MINDS? This type of ABUSE to the HUMAN BODY is COMPLETELY AGAINST ALL LAWS OF BIOLOGY, NATURE, and most importantly, GOD!! So many people in this country have an excuse as to why they cannot live healthy lives but always seem to find the time, money, and effort to do and buy the things that they want which will NEVER be able to cure them of their physical illnesses. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! The signs are all around us and they will get worse in the near future believe you me. Human beings are ONLY supposed to eat organically from the earth (that God created) and utilize their bodies to their maximum optimal capabilities. I have been given a message and a warning to try to help save as many lives as possible before it is TOO LATE! There will be a heavy price to pay for all of this gluttony, vanity, money and fame obsessions, cell phone addiction, and everything else happening in this country that has completely turned people from their NATURAL PURPOSE. () w4
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