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  • Ten percent increase in waist measurement increases the risk of dying by one-third

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Friday, May 27, 2005 5:26 am Email this article
    A ten percent increase in waist measurement increases the risk of dying by 36 percent in men and 30 percent in women according to a new study from Denmark. Conclusion: Belly fat is the problem

    The increased risk of dying is mainly due to excess belly fat, not total body fat, and not muscle.

    “Waist circumference remained strongly and directly associated with all-cause mortality when adjusted for total body fat in middle-aged men and women, suggesting that the increased mortality risk related to excess body fat is mainly due to abdominal adiposity,” the authors concluded.

    Waist measurement should be used to help determine a person’s risk the authors suggest.

    “Individuals classified as normal weight according to BMI criteria (BMI less than 25) may have increased mortality if they have a large waist circumference, and individuals overweight according to BMI (BMI greater than 25) may not be at increased mortality risk if they have a narrow waist circumference,” the authors note.

    Subjects: 57,000 men and women followed by 5.8 years

    The study followed 27,128 men and 29,875 women born in Denmark, 50- to 64-years-old, without cancer at the beginning of the study, for an average of 5.8 years.

    Comments: Good news for hips and thighs, bad news for bellies

    This is good news for women, who tend to carry excess fat in their hips and thighs, but bad news for men, who tend to carry excess fat in their belly.

    A couple of recent studies have even found fat in the hips has a protective effect.

    Numerous studies have found results similar to this study, that belly fat increases the risk of disease and death.


    Bigaard J, Frederiksen K, Tjonneland A, Thomsen B, Overvad K, Heitmann B, Sorensen T. Waist circumference and body composition in relation to all-cause mortality in middle-aged men and women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2005 May 3.


    J. Bigaard
    The Danish Cancer Society
    Institute of Cancer Epidemiology
    Copenhagen, Denmark

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On May 30, 2005 at 6:14 am Randy Smith, MD wrote:

    . . . . .

    This is not surprising. The Belly fat or visceral fat is very metabolically active and produces pro-inflammatory cytokines. Inflammation is increasingly being identified as being associated with many chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease dementia, diabetes, arthritis, etc. It is also associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.


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