The desire to be slim and sexy is no longer the sole reason for working hard to achieve a slender waistline. Recent medical studies now show that large waists are now regarded as a risk factor for premature death.
Based on the results of a recent study conducted by medical researchers from Imperial College London, the German Institute of Human Nutrition and other European institutions, there is a strong relation between waist sizes and premature death. The study compared the waist lines of subjects with the same BMI or body mass index. Other variables that they investigated upon are hip and waist measurements.
What is BMI?
BMI or body mass index shows the body weight of a person in relation to his weight. Such is often used as an indicator for weight problems. In general, the weight of an adult with a BMI that falls between the range of 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy and normal. Beyond that range, the person may be overweight or obese.
Why do large waists signify death?
According to the study which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, an increase in waist circumference of approximately two inches also increases the risk for premature death among men and women. The risk increases by 17% for men and 13% for women.
Medical specialists and researchers of the said study, note that large waistlines signify early death since fatty tissues around the weight contribute to an increase in hormonal levels and other body compounds in the bloodstream. This hormonal imbalance may lead to the development of a wide variety of diseases – from heart diseases to some forms of cancers.
Big waistlines are in line with smoking and drinking
One of the researchers and a professor from the Imperial College of London, Elio Riboli, states that they were surprised to find out that the size of a person’s waist line played a very influential role on one’s general health and premature death. He further points out that there are only a few physical characteristics that can raise the mortality risk of a person and it was quite unexpected that a person’s waistline is one of those risk factors that are in line with drinking and smoking.
The study which lasted for almost ten years and involved 360,000 subjects also affirmed the results of previous studies regarding BMI. Results of this European study confirmed that high BMIs were related to early death as well.
Some preventive measures
Although the researchers did not investigate what factors contributed to the development of their bulging waistlines, they point out that the large waist line must have been a product of low levels of physical activity and improper dietary habits.
As such, researchers suggest that people with large waist lines should indulge in daily exercise. They should also watch what they eat and avoid foods that are rich in fat and cholesterol. They should also make it a point to avoid excessive intake of alcoholic beverages.
In relation to the results of the study, the researchers suggest that routine physical check-ups and visits to the doctor should involve hip and waist measurements in order to promote early detection of possible health problems.