The information released is about stomach size: Belly bulge can be deadly for older adults, even those who aren’t overweight or obese by other measures.
This is one of the largest studies to examine the dangers of abdominal fat, and it suggests men and women with the biggest waistlines have twice the risk of dying over a decade compared with those with smaller tummies.
What’s surprising is bigger waists carry a greater risk of death even for people whose weight is “normal” by the body mass index (BMI). (The BMI is a standard measure based on weight and height)
The lead author of this new study, Eric Jacobs of the American Cancer Society, had this to say; “Even if you haven’t had a noticeable weight gain, if you notice your waist size increasing, that’s an important sign. It’s time to eat better and start exercising more.”
This is the newest study on the risks of a large belly, but there are other studies that have linked waist size to dementia, heart disease, asthma, and breast cancer as well.
Bulging bellies are an increasing problem for Americans older than 50. It’s estimated that over half of older men, and over 70% of older women have bigger waistlines than recommended.
If you’d like to measure your stomach to see if it is a healthy size, take a tape measure and wrap it around your waist at your belly button. Do not suck in your stomach when doing the measurement. Stand normally. Men should have a waist circumference no larger than 40 inches and women the limit is 35 inches.
If you find that your waist is larger than these numbers, then consider increasing your exercise or modifying your diet to get down into the normal range.
Email me any questions or comments and I’ll get back to you!
Have a great day,
Dr. Greg Bond
Source: AP, Denver Post 8/10/2010