Many people realize that being overweight can contribute to a wide range of health problems; however, carrying around excess fat can be more serious than many people ever imagined. In fact, not only is being overweight a major health concern, now it has come to light that the type of fat you carry, as well as where you have this excess fat, can be an even bigger risk to your health. Now more than ever, losing weight is important. You will not only look and feel better, but you will also be greatly reducing your risks for many serious health conditions.
Stubborn belly fat
In order to accurately assess your health risk, it is important to understand that stubborn belly fat has been shown to be of a completely different nature than fat located in other parts of your body. The nature of stubborn belly fat makes it especially unhealthy and can increase your risks for a number of very serious health conditions. However, while losing weight is certainly a good thing to do, regardless of where you have excess fat, the accumulation of belly fat is often viewed in terms of the ratio of your waist to hip measurements.
Health experts have come to agree that the relationship between these two measurements can help predict your risks for various health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer. By looking at the way fat is distributed on your body, you can have a better understanding of how serious this excess weight is to your health.
Waist to hip ratio
The first thing you will want to do is get a tape measure that you can use to get accurate measurements. Many people find that the soft cloth or vinyl tape measures used by sewers and crafters make an excellent measuring tool when trying to measure your hips and waist. The soft, pliable tape is easier to form around your body than the stiff metal tape measures. As an alternative, you could use a piece of string or twine and mark it with a pen. This piece of string can then be laid flat and measured with a standard tape measure or yard stick.
You will need to take two measurements. The first measurement should be around your waist; be sure to measure right at your belly button or slightly above it. You want to measure at the narrowest point of your belly. The second measurement should be around the widest part of your hips and buttocks. A waist to hip ratio greater than 0.85 for women and 0.90 for men can be an indication that there is an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and other health related problems. Fortunately, with diet and exercise it is possible to lose weight and bring these ratios to within acceptable and healthy limits.
About the author: Melissa Doran is currently working as a health adviser for patients who have undergone surgeries in a bariatric surgery clinic, and help them write their own success stories.