Big waist = short life

Not surprisingly, a new study in > 100,00 American adults shows that a wide waist is associated with up to twice the mortality in 19 years of follow-up.   This was true for men and women. This was true even after considering BMI (body mass index). This makes sense, because BMI does not distinguish fat from muscle.  As we age, we tend to lose muscle and bone, and gain fat, even if our weight remains the same.  And belly (“visceral”) fat produces inflammatory substances that damage our blood vessels.

Click for further description of the findings in the Wall Street Journal.

Some would therefore suggest that the more important thing to track, rather than weight, is your waist… or whether you can manage to fit that old pair of jeans.  Sometimes, you may lose inches without losing pounds; that’s a good thing!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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