Copyright 2006 Eva Moffat
The health of your heart can be seen when you use a tape measure.
Measuring your waist has been found to be a much better indication of the health of your heart rather than weighing yourself.
This way of combating heart disease was found when an International study was conducted recently.
The findings from the study were presented at the annual conference in Atalanta of the American College of Cardiology.
6 000 Family Doctors took part in the investigation. They measured the waistlines of 168 000 people, taking notes on family medical histories. It was found that the measurement of a persons waistline was a far truer indication of the state of health of a persons heart than the persons weight.
The study was conducted in 63 countries. The findings were that in men the risk of heart disease increased by between 21 and 40 per cent for 14 cm (5.5ins) increase in waist size.
Women are not off the hook. For every 14.9 cm increase in the waistline the more the possibility of a heart attack.
Doctors have known for some time that the more weight a person puts on the more likely they are to have heart problems.
Why Is This?
If a person is overweight, the heart has to pump harder to get the blood around the body. This hard work will eventually wear the heart out.
So doctors have realised that if a persons waistline is increasing it is a better indication that the patient is at risk of having a heart attack, than worrying about the patients weight.
So fat around the waistline and deep inside the abdomen secretes toxins into the blood stream. And this increases Cholesterol and increases the bodys resistance to Insulin. Insulin is essential for controlling the blood sugar. A rise in insulin resistance means the pancreas has to work harder to produce extra insulin. This additional work can cause damage to other organs for example the kidneys.
It has also been found that the average British man has an apple shape: his stomach bulging over his trousers. While women are more likely to be pear shaped as they age, with weight accumulating on the hips and legs.
This study was the first worldwide.
Body Mass Index (BMI) has already been a good measure of a persons likelihood of having a heart attack. But the persons shape is not taken into account.
For example: Footballers individually weighing over 300 lbs (21.5 stones) may when being weighed show them as being overweight, even obese. But they are carrying around a lot of muscle, rather than fat. And muscles are very heavy.
It has been estimated that an average of 30 000 people in Britain alone die from obesity related diseases.
So what can Mr and Mrs in the street do to avoid becoming a statistic?
Depend more on the tape measure showing the size of their waistline, rather than using the bathroom scales. Men with a beer belly should check with their doctor. Prevention always being better than cure.