Your Waist Size Matters To Your Health
No, it is not because you will not fit into that new pair of jeans or that pair of slacks you want to wear to the formal gathering at work next week.
Body weight matters as evidenced by all the news you have read and heard about the increased risk of developing certain diseases if you are overweight. The number that many doctors use to assess your risk of developing health issues is the body mass index (BMI). A BMI between 25.0 to <30 is defined as being overweight and a BMI greater than 30 is defined as being obese.
Your BMI May Not Tell The Full Story
For years, many doctors felt that the BMI did not tell an accurate story because the BMI does not differentiate between fat and lean body mass, and neither does it indicate the presence of subcutaneous and visceral fat compartments.
Why Is This Important?
If you are carrying excess weight around your stomach, there is an increased chance that that weight is due to abdominal fat and that fat is also likely to be predominantly visceral fat (fat around your organs). Research has shown that visceral fat is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat (the fat on your thighs, buttocks, or arms).
What’s The Big Deal With Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat affect’s the body’s sensitivity to the hormone Insulin, causes impaired regulation of cholesterol, and abnormal cardiovascular function. In other words, increased abdominal fat is associated with several obesity related medical conditions: Diabetes (DM2), High Blood Pressure (HTN), elevated Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels, and Heart disease (CAD).
Waist -To- Hip Ratio (WHR)
WHR was therefore deemed to be a better predictor of assessing one’s risk of developing one of the top ten (heart disease) leading causes of death in the USA. What does this mean to you? Find out your waist-to-hip ratio and if you are at increased risk, have a discussion with your doctor on how to decrease your risk. In the meantime, your total health will benefit if you start becoming aware of your food choices and your level of activity. Increased WHR impacts the health of both men and women.