What’s your body shape?

 

Image Source

Knowing your body shape is important is knowing your health risks. Of the images above the apple, and possibly the rectangle, are at an increased risk of death and disease if they don’t make living a healthy lifestyle a priority. This is because people who carry excess weight in their abdomen are at a higher risk of TONS of chronic diseases.  Mayo Clinic’s website has a list of those diseases:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Some types of cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • High triglycerides
  • Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea

WebMD had an article that explained Large Waist Circumference Predicts Death

  • Risk of chronic disease and death increases when a man’s waist is >40″ or a woman’s waist is >35″
  • For every 2″ increase in a man’s waist circumference, there was a 17% increase in death
  • For every 2″ increase in a woman’s waist circumference, there was a 13% increase in death
  • Waist-to-hip ratio also strongly predicted death

How to measure your waist circumference

This image found at the link above, on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website shows where you should measure waist circumference. You should measure your waist at the smallest part, usually where your belly button is.

Graphic of Measuring Tape Position for Waist Circumference

Another useful measurement to determine your body shape is your waist to hip ratio. To measure your hips, measure at the largest part of your hips. To find the ratio, take your waist measurement divided by your hip measurement. Anything larger than 0.8 for women or 1.0 for men is a risk factor. Why is there a difference? Women tend to have larger hips, making their ratio smaller. As much as women may dislike those curves, larger hips are actually protective against many chronic diseases. You can thank estrogen for that.

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