What Your Waistline Means To Your Health…

November 14, 2008

Go to fullsize imageI just came from a trip to Rio, Brazil to attend the International Congress of Endocrinology which is held every 2-4 years.  Our hotel was stationed right across the Copacobana Beach.  This is a place that epitomizes physical activity where unlike the Waikiki Beach front, I dont see a lot of people swimming but rather engaged in activities like walking, jogging or playing volleyball using their hands or feet.  On the sides are people eateries serving fresh coconut juice but also burgers and fries!  But an interesting observation was that… not a lot of Brazilians can be considered obese and not a lot have their bellies haging out of their waist….

We know about the risk of death and weight and BMI.  For Asians, anything above 23 is considered overweight already and increases ones risk to develop chornic diseases like Diabetes and cancer.  A waistline of more than 36 is considered high risk for men and 34 inches for women for chronic diseases.  It is for this reason that I have been committed to a healthier lifestyle and now from a waistline of 34 , I was able to maintain a waistline of  31inches and my BMI dropped from a high of 25.6 to 23.  It is all about a balance of what you eat and what you do and the DISCIPLINE you put into your goal! 

Now comes a timely study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, November issue regarding the risk of dying based on ones waistline and weight:


Background Previous studies have relied predominantly on the body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) to assess the association of adiposity with the risk of death, but few have examined whether the distribution of body fat contributes to the prediction of death. Methods We examined the association of BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio with the risk of death among 359,387 participants from nine countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). We used a Cox regression analysis, with age as the time variable, and stratified the models according to study center and age at recruitment, with further adjustment for educational level, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and height.

Results During a mean follow-up of 9.7 years, 14,723 participants died. The lowest risks of death related to BMI were observed at a BMI of 25.3 for men and 24.3 for women.

  • After adjustment for BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio were strongly associated with the risk of death.
  • Relative risks among men and women in the highest quintile of waist circumference were 2.05 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.80 to 2.33) and 1.78 (95% CI, 1.56 to 2.04), respectively, and
  • in the highest quintile of waist-to-hip ratio, the relative risks were 1.68 (95% CI, 1.53 to 1.84) and 1.51 (95% CI, 1.37 to 1.66), respectively.
  • BMI remained significantly associated with the risk of death in models that included waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio (P<0.001).

Conclusions These data suggest that both general adiposity and abdominal adiposity are associated with the risk of death and support the use of waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio in addition to BMI in assessing the risk of death.



IN SHORT…The risk of dying was higher among participants with a larger waistline of more than 47.2 inches for men and more than 39.4 inches for women compared to subjects with a smaller waistline of less than 31.5 inches for men and less than 25.6 inches for women. This study showed us that for each 2-inch increase in waist circumference, there was an associated 17% higher risk for death in men and a 13% higher risk for death in women .

There you go guys… thess bulging bellies are no longer as silent as we thought these”fats” can be but rather we know them now as machines producing substances that can harm the heart and vessels.  Aside from trying to aim for a BMI of 23 and below, one therefore has to be more aware of the risk of premasture death with higher waistline! 

Every little loss of the waist circumference can go a along way in helping us maintain HEALTH!  Do somtehting now and reap the rewards along the way!  It requires a lot of discipline but health benefits are enormous…and this equates to what I call Wealth!

3 Responses to “What Your Waistline Means To Your Health…”

  1. […] Original post by Fat Aussie – A fat burning, weight loss, and diet blog […]

  2. wilson ng Says:

    mine is also 23, in reverse.

    Ihave been on diet the last 25 years, and I hope I will finally succeed…..

    weight is always a problem for me…… food tastes so good…

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