“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a saying that reflects the importance of the depth and inner character of someone vs their outer appearance. Well, that could also be interpreted as the inner “health” of a person.
A recent study looked at risk factors for diabetes and heart disease in obese, overweight and normal weight adults. The conclusion was that many normal weight and over weight adults had high risk factors and posed a similar risk for diabetes and heart disease as their obese counterparts. In these people, risk was primarily linked to belly fat. For obese adults, risk wasn’t linked to belly fat as much as to having a “fatty liver”.
Belly fat is associated with fat accumulation around the organs of the body, primarily the liver (and heart). The study found that obese people who got moderate physical exercise had less fatty livers than those who didn’t exercise. And the normal weight people who did very little exercise had more fatty liver and higher risks for heart disease and diabetes, as well as gall stones, high blood pressure, etc. There are those that don’t respond as quickly or only minimally with exercise and still need some medications to get their risk factors under control.
Many of us think that fat is just stored energy and has no active function. Authors noted that fat tissue releases hormones and other substances that affect things like blood vessels, cholesterol and blood sugar. The results suggest this interaction varies among overweight and obese people, the authors said.
This makes us question the accuracy of the standard method of calculating whether someone is overweight or not. Health officials rely on the body mass index, a weight-height ratio that does not distinguish between fat and lean tissue. This measurement has limits, which were highlighted a few years ago when it was reported that this method would put nearly half of NBA players in the overweight category.
A number of experts say waist size is a more accurate way of determining someone’s health risks, and the study results support that argument. The results also add to mounting evidence that thick waists are linked with heart risks. So what are those waist sizes?
High risk for men is considered a waist size of >40 inches and for women >35 inches.
So consider getting your waist circumference measured to determine your fitness and health risks.
Despite their weight, nearly a third of obese people are not at high risk of diabetes or heart disease — but nearly a quarter of normal-weight people are….