weight may be associated with harmful health conditions
including cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, certain
cancers, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea.
Excess weight-related illnesses are the second leading cause
of death in the United States after smoking-related illnesses,
claiming up to 300,000 lives a year.
a few pounds as you age does not appear to significantly
increase health risk. However, greater weight gain can
lead to trouble. For instance, a recent study found that
women who gained less than 22 pounds since the age of
18 had no increased risk of mortality. However, women
who gained 22 pounds or more since the age of 18 were
seven times more likely to die of heart disease and 50
percent more likely to die of cancer than were women whose
weight remained stable.
your body fat is distributed may be as important as how
much you weigh. Central obesity -- fat concentrated around
the abdomen -- may present greater health risks than fat
located elsewhere on the body. Abdominal fat is associated
with increases in heart disease, stroke, diabetes and
like to use a fruit metaphor, invoking the difference
between "apples" and "pears" to describe
weight distribution. To determine which type you are,
measure your waist at its narrowest point. Next, measure
your hips at the widest expanse of your buttocks. Divide
your waist measurement by your hip measurement. Women
should have a ratio of less than 0.8 (or a waist no larger
then 35 inches); men, less than 1.0 (or a waist no larger
than 40 inches). If you have too much abdominal fat, make
a special effort to live a healthy lifestyle.
increased physical activity and lots of fruits and vegetables
can help you maintain a healthy weight. If you have medical
conditions like high blood pressure, see your doctor regularly.
Keep up the good work!
Source: Healthy Living '99