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November 14, 2008

Fat Message

No, that's not not a typo!

It's the message that your body is trying to tell you. Those love handle aren't so lovely. You can have a normal body mass index (BMI), but if you tend to carry extra girth around your middle, your risk for early death increases dramatically. For people with the same BMI, the ones with hip measurements that are larger are, on average, 15% more at risk for early death. And folks with high BMI are more likely to die of cardiac disease and cancer.

BODY MASS INDEX
Calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared
Normal: 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight: 25 - 29.9
Obese: Above 30

But here's an easier way to assess your risk. Measure your waist and divide by your hip measurement. This "hip-to-waist" ratio is a fast, economical way to assess your risk right away.
Good "hip-to-waist" ratios are 0.75 - 0.80 for women and 0.85 - 0.90 for men. Measurements for increased risk in women is 35 inches and for men, it's 40 inches.

Abdominal fat cells are much more metabolically and biologically active, Manson says. "They tend to be more active in producing hormones and chemical messengers that cause inflammation throughout the body," she notes.

On a more positive note, if you're trying to lose weight (ideally with exercise), that first 5 to 10 percent to go is likely that belly fat. This explains why there is so much improvement in people's blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and metabolism.

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Posted by linda at November 14, 2008 1:22 PM

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