Why Your Body Shape and Waist to Hip Ratio Affects Your Health More Than BMI Calculations

in Waist

Recently there was an article published in the UK edition of the Sunday Express talking about Muffin Tops. No, it is not a cute summer garment but a description of waist size, when rolls of extra weight around the waist spills over the sides of the trousers, shorts or skirt, making it look like a 'muffin top'.

I suppose that is another way of saying 'love handles', but 'muffin top' seems to be aimed at women more, with the 'spillage' being an all round affair. Which makes me wonder about the one sided muffin tops men tend to get. Obviously the muffins were put in the oven at a tilting angle, and the 'spillage' is all one sided.

Either way, I don't see what love has to do with it except for an excessive love for the wrong types of food.

According to the medical community, a waist size of 34 inches (86cm) or more for women, and a measurement of 38 inches (97cm) or more for men should start the alarm bells ringing.

An excess of internal fat deposit around the waist could lead to type II diabetes and heart problems amongst other chronic diseases, and whilst a BMI calculation is important in determining whether you are overweight or not, waist size and measurement is a more accurate assessment in determining overall health.

You could have a BMI within a "healthy range" (ie: under 25), but if your waist to hip ratio is above the recommended norm, you could still be at risk of developing chronic diseases.

Finding out your body shape, or the apple and pear shape test, is an important determinant in knowing whether your weight is endangering your health or not. If you are top heavy as in all your weight is around your waist, you are an apple shape; whereas weight around the thighs and hips makes you a pear shape.

There is a more scientific way to determine whether you are an apple shape or a pear shape.

Stand naked and relaxed and measure your waist at its narrowest point, which is where the navel is. Then measure your hips at its widest point, which is around your buttocks. Make sure the tape measure is not pulled too tightly or is too slack. Take the waist measurement and divide it by the hip measurement eg: if your waist is 86cm and your hips are 100cm, you divide 86 by 100 which gives you 0.86.

A ratio of 1.0 and over for a man, and 0.8 and over for a woman means that you are an apple shape, and hence more prone to health problems.

Personally I want to be the 'muffin bottom' - nicely packed into the paper encasing, not too tight and not too loose, just the right size and when you peel the paper encasing off, everything is still in place.

Plus it tastes just as good!

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Michele T. has 1 articles online

Whether you are an apple shape or a pear shape, excessive weight endangers your health. The best way to gain optimal health is to follow a proven health program that will address these concerns. Visit http://www.101HealthandFitness.com and find out more on what you can do to get back into shape.

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Why Your Body Shape and Waist to Hip Ratio Affects Your Health More Than BMI Calculations

This article was published on 2010/04/02