o Posted by Jimmie Burroughs
With more than two thirds of Americans overweight, the following article is a WARNING concerning the danger of that extra weight. One of the most overlooked principles in weight control is that we need to cut back on our food intake as we grow older. The rule of thumb is to reduce the amount we eat by 6% for each new decade of our lives. That means that a 60 year old should be eating 24% less than when they were 20 years old.
A Recent study warns older adults particularly to take notice of their waist line, even though they may not be overweight otherwise. While it is older adults that are in the most danger, younger adults should also take notice because reducing fat and keeping it off when you are younger will pay off as you age.
The new study appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine is one of the largest studies of its kind to date on the dangers of stomach fat. Men and women alike with flabby stomachs are twice more likely to die in any given decade than those who are thin.
Even if a person’s weight is normal otherwise, they still have a much greater risk of death than those with a flat stomach. They don’t even have to have a noticeable weight gain if they are larger in their waist to fall into a dangerous category.
Research also connects an oversize waist with dementia, heart disease, asthma and breast cancer. Therefore it is time for most Americans to start eating better and getting the right kind of exercise.
Fat bellies are not uncommon for most Americans. It seems that 50% of men have a fat stomach while 70% of women. This is also a growing problem with the average waist size increasing on the average of an inch each decade since the 1960s.
I was surprised to see what is the acceptable waist size, 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, that is to place them below the danger zone. I have been overweight before but I’ve never had anywhere near a 40 inch waist. What is acceptable in my opinion is far from what is to be desired. For my weight 175 at 5’ 11’’, I want my waist to be no more than 32 inches.
The new study is the first to be conducted that analyzes waist size and death in three categories: normal, overweight and obese. About 2% of those in the study were normal as far as their BMI but with a larger waist and the larger the waist the greater the risk. Even those below the acceptable size but still oversize were also at risk.
Considering the fact that this was a very large study with more than a 100,000 participants and stretching over a period of ten years, from 1996 until 2006, it certainly is something to take notice of and to be concerned about. Just an extra 4 inches around the waist could increase the risk of dying by 15% to 25% and the 25% were women with normal BMI.
Those with larger waist sizes had a risk of death from respiratory disorders, heart disease and cancer. Other things were factored into the study such as smoking and alcohol to determine the cause of death.
It is not uncommon for older adults to also lead a sedentary life style, which adds to the problem of a changing body shape. Muscle mass is decreasing while fat is increasing and that also takes a toll.
Another finding outside of this study indicates that belly fat may secrete proteins and hormones that cause inflammation which could interfere with how the body produces insulin and may also raise cholesterol levels.
What can be done to fight belly fat? Surgical removal is sometimes used but that just skirts the real issue of what really is the cause of poor health. The real problem can be summed up in diet and exercise. Since that requires discipline, it is not likely to be popular with all but it is the real solution. That means doing more than just cutting back on food and doing a few sit ups, which are worthless. It involves a healthy diet which includes foods that help fight abdominal fat and flatten the stomach and an exercise program proven to get rid of extra weight, not just in the stomach area but uniformly over the entire body.