Why is your Waist-to-Hip Ratio important?


More than 60 years ago, the French physician Jean Vague observed that people with larger waists had a higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease and death than people who had trimmer waists or carried more of their weight around their hips and thighs. (1) Decades later, long-term follow-up studies showed that so-called “abdominal obesity” was strongly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death, even after controlling for body mass index (BMI).

Cardiovascular deaths in one recent study were 2.75 times higher for those of normal weight who had big bellies compared to those with both a normal BMI and a normal waist-to-hip ratio. It also implies that monitoring one’s belly fat is more important than watching BMI.

In people who are not overweight, having a large waist may mean that they are at higher risk of health problems than someone with a trim waist.

  • The Nurses’ Health Study, one of the largest and longest studies to date that has measured abdominal obesity, looked at the relationship between waist size and death from heart disease, cancer, or any cause in middle-aged women. At the start of the study, all 44,000 study volunteers were healthy, and all of them measured their waist size and hip size.
  • After 16 years, women who had reported the highest waist sizes 35 inches or higher”had nearly double the risk of dying from heart disease, compared to women who had reported the lowest waist sizes (less than 28 inches).
  • Women in the group with the largest waists had a similarly high risk of death from cancer or any cause, compared with women with the smallest waists. The risks increased steadily with every added inch around the waist.

Click here to calculate your waist-to-hip ratio:


Swap Your Diet, Swap Your Cancer Risk, New Study Finds

If you weren’t quite convinced that you are, at least mostly, what you eat, a new study should help persuade you.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, Imperial College London, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, University of Helsinki, University of Illinois, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa followed participants in the U.S. and in South Africa, asking each group to switch to the diet of the other country.

That is, African-American people in the U.S. ate a South African diet for two weeks, and South African people ate an American diet for two weeks. The switch, though brief, effected some pretty impressive changes in both groups of participants, from inflammatory markers to gut microbes. Read more>> 


A brief walk can offset hours spent sitting

walking sign

According to research published September 8, 2014 in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, taking really short but frequent walks can counteract the harm caused by sitting for long periods of time, a new study suggests.

The researchers found that even just a five-minute stroll can help.

The impairment in endothelial function is significant after just one hour of sitting. It is interesting to see that light physical activity can help in preventing this impairment.”

According to background information from Indiana University, sitting for a prolonged period of time can cause blood to pool in the legs. This happens because muscles are not contracting and pumping blood to the heart as effectively. As a result, the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow can become impaired. Being sedentary is also linked to high cholesterol and a larger waistline, which increase the risk for heart and metabolic disease.

Overall, the researchers found, the ability of the arteries in the legs to expand was reduced by as much as 50 percent after just one hour of sitting. The men who walked for five minutes for each hour they spent sitting, however, had no reduction in the function of their arteries during the three-hour period.

The researchers concluded that the increased muscle activity and blood flow from the small amount of exercise offset the negative impacts of sitting.


Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes

Fruitand veg graph

Dose-response relation between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of mortality

Results of a study published in the British Medical Journal (July 29, 2014) to examine and quantify the potential dose-response relation between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality are quite interesting.

What is already known on this topic

  • The association between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of mortality has been examined in many studies, but the dose dependency of this association has not been determined in a meta-analysis

What this study adds

  • Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of all cause mortality, with an average reduction in risk of 5% for each additional serving a day (6% for fruit and 5% for vegetables)

  • There was a threshold around five servings a day, after which the risk of death did not reduce further

  • There was a significant inverse association for cardiovascular mortality, but higher consumption was not appreciably associated with cancer mortality

Read the full research at;


Vitamin D and Cancer


The Dirty Dozen Fruits and Vegetables

U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put together a list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, or those that contain the highest amount of pesticide residues even after being washed with a high-pressure washing system.

Reduce your exposure to pesticides by up to 80 percent by buying the organic version of the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables:

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Domestic blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Spinach, kale and collard greens
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Imported grapes
  • Lettuce

The 15 fruits and vegetables that are relatively clean of pesticide residues are:

          • Onions
          • Avocados
          • Sweet corn
          • Pineapples
          • Mango
          • Sweet peas
          • Asparagus
          • Kiwi fruit
          • Cabbage
          • Eggplant
          • Cantaloupe
          • Watermelon
          • Grapefruit
          • Sweet potatoes
          • Sweet onions

Read the full CNN report here


What can we learn from the Pima Indians about diabetes?


What happens to your blood after a Burger and a shake…



Do you know your Body Mass Index (BMI)? BMI is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

Check it here:  BMI Calculator

Check your BMI against the table below:

Category BMI range – kg/m2 BMI Prime Mass (weight) of a 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) person with this BMI
Severely underweight less than 16.5 less than 0.66 under 53.5 kilograms (8.42 st; 118 lb)
Underweight from 16.5 to 18.4 from 0.66 to 0.73 between 53.5 and 60 kilograms (8.42 and 9.45 st; 118 and 132 lb)
Normal from 18.5 to 24.9 from 0.74 to 0.99 between 60 and 81 kilograms (9.4 and 13 st; 130 and 180 lb)
Overweight from 25 to 30 from 1.0 to 1.2 between 81 and 97 kilograms (12.8 and 15.3 st; 180 and 210 lb)
Obese Class I from 30.1 to 34.9 from 1.21 to 1.4 between 97 and 113 kilograms (15.3 and 17.8 st; 210 and 250 lb)
Obese Class II from 35 to 40 from 1.41 to 1.6 between 113 and 130 kilograms (17.8 and 20.5 st; 250 and 290 lb)
Obese Class III over 40 over 1.6 over 130 kilograms (20 st; 290 lb)

 BMI Calculator

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