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Why Your Waist Size May Be Signalling Danger

By Sandy Schroeder

The question of a bulging waistline is a serious one, according to HarvardHealth. As we age, it’s easy to pick up weight throughout the body, but when the waist expands, everybody gets interested. An increased waist size of 35 or more inches for women, and 40 or more inches for men, may mean the body is carrying a potentially dangerous amount of abdominal fat.

Get the Measuring Tape Out

Do yourself a favor and use a soft measuring tape to check your size about an inch above the hip bone to see if you are 35 to 40 inches or more. Here’s what can happen next.

What Visceral Fat Does

Scientists say visceral fat which becomes belly fat encircling abdominal organs is metabolically active and can increase the risk of many serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, breast and colorectal cancer, dementia and early death.

A 20-year British study established a direct link between the development of coronary heart disease and a large waistline. The risk for heart disease doubles among women with larger waists. Each two inches added raised the risk by 10 percent.

A Korean study also found belly fat raised the risk of cancer. The risk of colorectal cancer was nearly doubled among postmenopausal women who added belly fat. Another study in India showed that the women there who had waists as big as their hips were four times as likely to get breast cancer.

How to Reduce the Waist

Doctors say weight loss through a wholesome diet and exercise such as strength training and walking are the best ways to shed belly fat. Here are some more specific steps.

Reduce Sugar

  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup.
  • Stop drinking sugar-loaded sodas and other sweetened drinks, including fruit juice
  • Limit alcohol, which suppresses fat burning and adds empty calories
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice

Eat a balanced diet

  • Include protein and dietary fiber
  • Include beans, peas and whole grains
  • Avoid saturated and trans-fats
  • Reduce take-out and fast food

Get enough sleep

  • Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night
  • Create a relaxing sleep environment
  • Keep the same bedtime every night

Make sure you are moving

  • Try walking, jogging, running or workouts
  • Make sure you are getting 30-minutes of activity daily
  • Move at least five minutes for each hour that you sit

Taking your waist size seriously just makes good health sense. If you have a problem, see your doctor to discuss the issue and find the best diet and exercises to solve the problem.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loveland, Colo.

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