Spare tire around the waist? Are you “Overfat”

Are you a pear or are you an apple? Its not the first time you’ve heard excess fat around your waist is unhealthy.

You may already know it’s associated with increased risk of chronic health diseases and is linked with concerns like coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea and the list goes on…

A new study conducted by the journal “Frontiers in Public Health” evaluated the growing “overfat” “pandemic” in developed countries. This was done after another study by a group of three doctors found 76% of the world’s population is “overfat”. The study found the problem can be seen on a large scale in developed countries like the U.S., where 90% of men, 80% of women and 50% of children are considered “overfat”. 

This study is so alarming it was covered on the Today Show earlier this month.

All it takes is a tape measure. No scale. No pressurized mechanism to tell you a number you may not even understand. Is your waist under half of your height?

You’ve probably heard me say more than enough DO NOT CHASE NUMBERS when it comes to your body composition, or frankly your health in general. At Fitness on the Run we believe obsessing over a bodyweight, a dress size, a suit cut, or even a certain number of miles can be akin to herding cats. Not only is a certain bodyweight possibly unachievable or unsustainable, it can also lead to feelings of personal failure and ultimately low self esteem. It is also hugely questionable how you got to that “perfect’ number.

Dr. Oz and others, like Ashwell, are interested in conveying the real truth They believe the language we use to describe “health”, “fat”, “fit” has previously been misleading. I’d say we are simply learning more and getting smarter! How we describe our own bodies carries enormous consequences for our daily lives. How we “self talk” also can bring joy and pain.

The negative effects of excess abdominal fat leads to conditions like inflammation, the root of a lot of illness and injury, and insulin resistance, with insulin being the hormone that helps control glucose and blood sugar.

There is, however, one measurement I’ve mentioned before and believe it has solid credibility: waist to height ratio or WtHR. It is a formula developed by a British Medical Doctor Margaret Ashwell. Ashwell spent years researching the various indicators for “early health risk” and found the WtHR to be superior as a predictor of it.  She found that “there is now good evidence that central obesity carries more health risks compared with total obesity assessed by BMI” says Dr. Ashwell.  

At Fitness on the Run, we take your fitness seriously for life. We combine a focus on strong bodies and strong minds. We stay on top of the best research so we can share it with our community at FOR. Maintaining strength means a laser focus on daily habits that contribute to a healthy and pain free life.    

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