Thursday, November 1, 2012

he Longer Your Waistline the Shorter Your Lifeline

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As a good rule of thumb: for optimal health and longevity, a man should not have more than one-half inch of skin that he can pinch near  his  umbilicus (belly button)  and  a  woman  should  not  have
more than one inch. Almost any fat on the body over this minimum is a health risk. If you have gained even as little as ten pounds since the age of eighteen or twenty, then you could be at significant in­
creased risk for health problems such as heart disease, high blood
pressure, and diabetes. The truth is that most people who think they are at the right weight still have too much fat on their body.
A commonly used  formula  for determining ideal body weight follows:

Women: Approximately ninety-five pounds for the first five feet of height and
then four pounds for every inch thereafter.

5'4"                             95 + 16= 111
5'6"                             95 + 24= 119

Men: Approximately    105 pounds for the first five feet of height and then five
pounds for every inch thereafter. Therefore, a      5'10" male should weigh approx­
imately        155 pounds.

All formulas that approximate ideal weights are only rough guides, since we all have different body types and bone structure.
   
Body mass index (BMI) is used as a convenient indicator of over­ weight risk and is often used in medical investigations. BMI is calcu­ lated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters (squared). Another way to calculate BMI is to use this formula:

BMI                      =  weight in pounds X      703
                                                    height in inches     (squared)
 
A BMI over 24 is considered overweight and greater than 30, obese. However, it is just as easy for most of us merely to use waist circum­ ference.
I prefer waist circumference and abdominal  fat measurements
because BMI can be inaccurately high if the person is athletic and
very muscular. Ideally, your BMI should be below 23, unless you lift weights and have considerable muscle mass. As an example, I am of average height and build (5'10" 150 pounds) and my BMI is 21.5.
My waist circumference is 30.5 inches. Waist circumference should be measured at the navel.
The traditional view is that men who have a waist circumference over forty inches and women with one over thirty-five inches are significantly overweight with a high risk of health problems and heart attacks. Recent evidence suggests that abdominal fat measurement is a better predictor of risk than overall weight or size.2 4 Fat deposits around your waist are a greater health risk than extra fat in other places, such as the flips and thighs.
What if you feel you are too thin? If you have loo much fat on your body but feel you are too thin,  then you should exercise to build muscle to gain weight. I often have patients tell me they think
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