There’s no arguing that anyone looks better without a gut. But physical appearance aside, the extra inches in your abdomen may be indicative of a shorter lifespan. A recent study performed by the American Cancer Society found that people with larger waists have a higher risk of death and disease than that of their more slender counterparts.
According to the study, men with a waist size larger than 47 inches and women with a waist size larger than 42 inches have nearly twice the risk of death as people with smaller waists. The study also found that people with a normal weight and body mass index (BMI), yet with thicker waists, were still just as prone to illness.
The study’s lead author, Eric J. Jacobs, says the extra inches are attributed to fat tissue deep in the abdomen.
Previous studies have found that the additional fat in the abdomen can double a person’s risk of death from different causes, including stroke, heart disease and cancer.
The study followed 100,000 men and women over the course of ten years. The findings, which were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, show that a big waistline is an even better indicator of health risks than BMI, a more popular measure for obesity.
Not sure how you measure up? Try this waist-to-hip calculator from FitSugar.com to see if you have a healthy waistline. If you have concerns about your health, check with your physician about lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of diabetes and other diseases.
To Your Health & Beauty,
Kent V. Hasen, M.D.