While being overweight is generally never good for your health, carrying extra fat in certain areas can be particularly dangerous. One of the most concerning areas is the abdomen. In fact, a recent study conducted in China linked excess abominable adipose tissue to the progression of type-2 diabetes and to increased risks of kidney complications for patients with type-2 diabetes.
This study examined the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of over 1,700 diabetic patients in China. These patients were all 40 and older and had all been previously or recently diagnosed with diabetes. The researchers found that as the WHR increased, so did the participants' fasting plasma glucose levels and their HbA1c levels. Their albuminuria risk, an indicator of kidney disease, increased as well. The results indicate that abdominal adipose fat tissue is independently associated with glycemic control levels and renal complications in patients with type-2 diabetes.
The researchers suggest that reducing abdominal fat may help improve disease progression for diabetic patients and reduce their risk of complications. However, as you and I know, you can't spot-reduce fat, so you'll need to take steps to lose weight overall by exercising and eating a sensible diet.
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If you aren't sure if you're at risk, you can calculate your WHR easily. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends measuring your waist at the midpoint between the lowest rib you can feel and the top of your pelvis. Measure your hips at their widest portion, being sure to keep the measuring tape parallel to the floor. Make sure you keep your feet close together, arms down, and weight evenly distributed. Having someone else do the measuring will ensure more accurate results. The WHO also suggests that you measure each area at least twice to ensure you get consistent numbers. Once you have your numbers, divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement (W ÷ H).
Women should aim for a WHR of less than 0.80, while men just need to be at less than 0.90. If you're above this, it's a good idea to begin taking some weight-loss steps, particularly if you're diabetic. Retake the measurements at regular intervals to see your progress. If you're at risk for diabetes, then read my book The Type-2 Diabetes Breakthrough
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD