An important new study just released has a lot to say about why you should be watching a key metric even more than weight or body mass index.
Many people today think they aren’t the ones all the scary obesity headlines are talking about because according to a BMI chart, they are normal or only slightly overweight.
Well, new research looked at 650,000 study participants to determine the affect of waist size on overall mortality (death) risk and here’s what they found:
For every 5 cm (about 2 inches) increase in waist size…
…risk of death goes up by 9% for women, 7% for men.
I’ve been well aware of the risk of abdominal obesity for a long time, but the part of the data I found alarming and critical to communicate to my patients…
…is that you don’t have to have waist sizes that qualify as obesity to have substantially increased death risk.
The study looked at 28 inch waists and higher for women, 36 for men.
The official marker for obesity is 35 for women, and 40 for men.
What that adds up to is a lot of folks unaware of the grave risk even moderate excess abdominal fat could be exposing them to.
The reason is that fat in this area of your body is metabolically active.
That little “spare tire” or “beer belly” affects important processes in your body by throwing off hormone balances, leading to conditions such as increased inflammation and insulin resistance.
Which means greater risks for cardiovascular events, degenerative diseases and respiratory problems.
Does it motivate you to know that lowering your waist size by 2 inches could reduce your death risk by nearly 10%? (if not for you, then what about your kids or grandkids?)
If so… then you are the kind of patient I can help.
– Dr. Deepti