People don't know the risks of abdominal fat

10/03/2005 - News

People don't know the risks of abdominal fat

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


People don't know the risks of abdominal fat

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Only a minority of people realize that their waist circumference has a bearing on their risk of heart problems.
It’s probably well known that being overweight increases your risk of heart problems. But what is also important is how the weight is distributed. Abdominal fat carries more of a risk of heart disease – in other words, being apple-shaped is more hazardous than being pear-shaped. However, according to a new survey from the World Health Federation, not many people are aware of this.

A group of over 11,000 people in 27 countries was questioned to see what they knew about heart disease. Only a minority realized that waist circumference is important and only 60 per cent of doctors knew this. In fact, having a waist size of over 35 inches for a woman and 40 inches for a man creates more of a risk of heart disease. This has found to be true in North America. In other countries, the figures are a little lower. An elevated waist circumference increases the risk of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure – all of which have been linked to heart problems.

World Health Federation 19th September 2005

Created on: 10/03/2005
Reviewed on: 10/03/2005

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