Are you shaped more like an apple—carrying more weight around your middle—or a pear—with more body fat in your hips and thighs? Research shows that people with a higher waist-to-hip ratio—those with more abdominal fat—are at increased risk for health problems like diabetes and heart disease and a new study details why that is.
According to researchers, abdominal fat increases a number of markers for heart disease and metabolic disorders, including blood lipids, glucose, insulin, and systolic blood pressure—regardless of weight or body mass index (BMI). That means that how our body stores fat, which is largely determined by genetic factors, plays an important role in our risk for developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Results of this study show that waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) adjusted for BMI (a measure of body fat based on height and weight) is a more accurate indicator of disease risk. The development of new treatments aimed specifically at reducing abdominal fat may reduce the overall incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.
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Diane is a Senior Content Producer at Remedy Health Media, LLC. She writes the Daily Dose for HealthCentral and is the editorial director at HealthCommunities. Her goal is to contribute to a valuable, trustworthy, and informative experience for people who are searching for health information online.