Sunday, June 8, 2008

Waist Matters

I am sure you must have come across the recent newspapers which were flooded about the risks of an excessively huge waist circumference. So what is all the fuss about?
Excess waist circumference is directly related to excess abdominal fat (adiposity), which is not only subcutaneous (under the skin) but more of visceral (around the important organs).
Excess fat deposition around the waist
Hampers the function of the Pancreas, liver etc. which gives rise to insulin resistance – which is one of the factors defining Diabetes.
Gives rise to obesity-related problems esp. like atherosclerosis (fat deposition around the walls of the arteries)
Increases your risk of metabolic disorders, heart attacks, strokes etc.
Increases the risks during pregnancy, in case of women

In women who are going through the menopause, it is common to see the waist size rising with or without their weight really increasing
The risk for health problems is high if you are a
· man with a waist measurement greater than 40 in (~ 102 cm)
· woman with a waist measurement greater than 35 in ( ~ 90cm)

Until recently, WHR (Waist-to-Hip Ratio) was considered as the benchmark method to assess health complications.
Men need a WHR which is less than 0.9, and women with a ratio less than 0.75 for low health risks.
WHR is a better predictor of mortality in older people than Body Mass Index (BMI).
The problem with BMI is that it can't differentiate muscle from flab. It also doesn't quantify or locate the fat deposits which is important since carrying extra fat around your waist may be unhealthier than having extra fat around your hips.

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