Apples vs Pears: Is One Body Shape Healthier than the Other?
Apples are good for you, right? While eating apples is healthy, having the so-called apple figure is not. You may have heard of body types categorized as either apple-shaped or pear-shaped. Apple shapes gain weight in their midsection while pear shapes tend to add weight below the waistline, often to their hips.
Reearch has shown that apple shapes are at greater risk for lifestyle-related illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Even a small increase in your waistline can impact your health in a big way. Why? It has to do with the heightened risk of coronary disease, stroke, or both that are associated with increases in your waistline, your waist-to-hip ratio, and your BMI (Body Mass Index).
Better Off Being a Pear? Not Necessarily!
Newer research has found that pear shapes have their down-side, too--namely, gluteal fat. That's the fat in our buttocks and when it's in excess, it may place that individual at risk for metabolic syndrome. But that's not all: One study even found that 23.5% of normal weight individuals were at risk for cardio-metabolic disease based on the presence of several of the following factors: elevated blood pressure, smoking, increased cholesterol, and increased triglycerides.
Knowing Your Numbers is Key to Getting Healthy
The take-home message is simple: being overweight is unhealthy, but being normal weight doesn't necessarily protect you from cardio-metabolic disease. It's important to know your numbers (BP, cholesterol, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, waistline circumference). Ask your healthcare practitioner about ways you can reduce your risk and improve your health. For more information on our comprehensive First Line Therapy Health Screen, please contact us.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Increased chemerin and decreased omentin-1 in both adipose tissue and plasma in nascent metabolic syndrome. March 2013, 98(3):E514-E517.
Archives of Internal Medicine. The Obese Without Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Clustering and the Normal Weight With Cardiometabolic Risk Factor ClusteringPrevalence and Correlates of 2 Phenotypes Among the US Population (NHANES 1999-2004). August 2008,168(15):1617-1624.
The Lancet, Separate and combined associations of body/mass index and abdominal adiposity with cardiovascular disease: collaborative analysis of 58 prospective studies.March 2011, 377(9771):1085-1095.
The contents of this blog are intended for educational purposes only. The information presented here is not a substitute for proper medical attention, diagnosis, or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider before starting or making any changes to an existing treatment plan, exercise program or dietary regimen, and before using nutritional supplements.
~ Dr. Sarah Williams ~ Concord & Nantucket, Massachusetts ~