LifeLineScreening - June 27, 2012
The concerns of health experts from the Nuffield Health charity recently sparked a public reaction. Earlier this week it was reported that over half of women in the UK have a waistline that measures larger than the recommended health guidelines.
The survey of 30,000 women found that the average waist measured 84.9cm (33.43in), whilst the recommended healthy size is 80cm (31.49in). The study also found that there was a tendency towards an even larger average measurement among women based in the North of England.
The average body mass index (BMI) was also found to be above the healthy range in 57% of women.
Professional head of physicians and diagnostics at Nuffield health, Dr Deniszczyc, explained that this higher percentage of the female population was a significant. And that obesity increased the risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and infertility.
It is also worth noting that the survey conducted only collected data on women, rather than men. However, the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, associated with obesity, are still present.
It is certainly true that people come in different shapes and sizes. Guidelines are just that, and there are of course instances where a person’s BMI may be on the boundary between health and overweight yet they are in every other way considered to be relatively healthy. This may be due to something such as high muscle mass, which is heavier than fat tissue.
BMI is a measurement of weight in relation to height. And whilst an effective indicator, it is also important to consider multiple factors. We can also look at current lifestyle; inclusive of diet, levels of physical activity and any existing medical conditions.