Your Shape Matters
Is your body shaped more like an apple or a pear? When it comes to weight and health, being shaped like an apple carries greater health risks than being shaped like a pear.
You are apple-shaped if your body fat has settled around your belly. Men are genetically predisposed to gain weight around their belly, although there are exceptions. Having an apple-shaped body means that you have too much abdominal fat. Abdominal fat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer following menopause.
Pear-shaped bodies store more fat in the buttocks and hips.Women tend to gain weight on the hips and thighs. Whatever your shape, however, BMI is still important because it is linked with overall body fat. Chances are, if your BMI is high, your waist circumference will be high too.
How to Evaluate Your Abdominal Fat
- Using a cloth measuring tape, like the one used by tailors, measure around the widest area between your belly button and the top of your hips.
- For men, if this measurement is more than 40 inches, you have abdominal obesity.
- For women, if this measurement is more than 35 inches, you have abdominal obesity.