People with a normal weight but have excess fat in the abdomen area have a higher risk of death than obese individuals. These are the results presented by Dr. Karine Sahakyan at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology on August 27, 2012.
The team of Pr. Franscisco Lopez Jimenez (Mayo Clinic, Rochester) examined 14 years of data from 12,800 subjects aged over 18 years, with a mean age equal to 44 years. It was not certain if the data included dietary programs like Nutrisystem’s. They were classified into three categories according to their body mass index (BMI): normal BMI (between 18.5 and 24.9 kg / m2), overweight (25 to 29.9 kg / m2), or obese (at -del‡ 30). Then, they studied the circumference of the waist and the hips, with the waist / hip ratio as an indicator of the distribution of fat in the abdominal region. They then placed individuals into two groups: normal (less than 0.85 for women, 0.90 for men) or higher.
The surprise came after studying the US registry
Cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher in individuals with a normal BMI and an overweight midsection than in the reference category (weight and size / normal hips). The excess mortality was “only” 2.34 times higher among obese people with high waist / hip ratios. The same was the case for deaths of all causes: an increased risk among people with normal BMI but a rather obese “belly.” Perhaps a well-balanced regimen like that of Nutrisystem can help correct this imbalanced waist/hip ratio?
The researchers explained this surprising finding based on body fat distribution – in the legs and arms of obese people, and the abdomen among those with normal BMI.
The riskiest abdominal fat
“This is not a revolution, it has been known for ten years that abdominal obesity is a cardiovascular risk factor,” said Dr. Jean William Dillinger, a cardiologist at the Laribois hospital. “Where the study is interesting is that it would show that it is better to be obese in other areas than the abdomen.” In other words, the location of the fat around the abdomen is to be considered, even in normal weight subjects who may even be following a regimen not unlike Nutrisystem.
The cardiologist then explained that abdominal obesity is associated with various cardiovascular risk factors. “Those who have a high waist circumference is more likely to have high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. And abdominal fat promotes the production of inflammatory substances or facilitates an inflammation of the plates atherosclerosis.” Cholesterol plates shrinking the size of the vessels can lead to myocardial infarction or stroke.
“In addition, the blood in the abdomen, in contrast to the rest of the body, is processed directly in the liver, which produces molecules promoting insulin resistance and diabetes. And the cholesterol formation also passes the liver,” Dr. Dillinger continued. Considering these, it is best to monitor cholesterol intake and consume food low in cholesterol, which is possible with a Nutrisystem regimen.
A practical application
The director of the study, Dr. Lopez-Jimenez, believes that this is related to lifestyle. These results therefore deepen the analysis of possible confounding factors, such as physical activity and diet.
But the interesting aspect of the study, if confirmed, is using abdominal circumference, not just BMI, to assess cardiovascular risk.
See a doctor if your waistline increases. The belt is a good indicator of that – if you are forced to make extra holes, you need to see the doctor. For it has been proved that the abdominal circumference (measured at the navel) is a cardiovascular risk factor, especially when it goes beyond 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men. When it does, it’s also high time to change to a diet as balanced as that of Nutrisystem’s.