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Carrying weight on your waist

Carrying extra fat around your waist increases your risk of early death, even if your overall weight is normal, according to researchers.

The waist study

Researchers studied over 350,000 people from 9 European countries to find that waist size is a powerful indicator of health risk. The volunteers were an average of 51 years old at the start of the study and were followed for 10 years, during which time 14,723 of them died.

They found that each extra 2 inches or 5cm in waist circumference raised the chance of early death by between 13% in women and and 17% in men. The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine study urged doctors to regularly measure patients’ waists as a cheap and quick way to assess health.

Some people who had a completely normal BMI score, but a larger than average waist, were at significantly higher risk of early death.

Researchers comments

Professor Riboli, from Imperial College London, said, We were surprised to see the waist size having such a powerful effect on people’s health and premature death.

He added, “The good news is that you don’t need to take an expensive test and wait ages for the result to assess this aspect of your health – it costs virtually nothing to measure your hip and waist size.”

Kellie’s Note

While recording waist size is optional in My Weight Software, these kinds of research findings highlight why it is a good idea to also track waist size.

If you don’t have a tape measure, now is the time to get one and check if you are over/under the risk limits (My Weight Software can tell you this).


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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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