People with larger stomachs in their 40s are more likely to have dementia when they reach their 70s, according to a study published in the March 26, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Previous research has consistently confirmed where you carry fat - not necessarily how much fat you're carrying - markedly increases the risk of calcium and plaque build-up in the arteries of the heart.
However, now there's a connection to dementia, as well. According to this study, how big your belly is in relation to your hips (this is known as the "waist-to-hip ratio") may be a better indication of dementia than other common measures of overweight and obesity, such as body mass index (BMI) and height/weight charts. In other words, you gotta get rid of that pot belly....even if your body weight falls within a normal range on the scale!
Why does belly fat matter more than cellulite on your thighs? Abdominal fat... as opposed to fat around the hips - seems to trigger a chain of inflammatory activities that translates into harmful metabolic changes and plaque buildup ... and ultimately heart disease and dementia.Therefore, everyone should know their waist-to-hip ratio: It's so simple, here's how it works.
1. While standing, use a tape measure to measure your waist in inches at its smallest point OR at your navel (without holding in or pushing out your tummy).
2. Next, measure your hips in inches at the widest area.
3. Lastly, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. That's your waist-to-hip ratio.
For example; if your waist measures 38" and your hips measure 38" .... you're 1.0. Ultimately, you want your waist to be smaller than your hips.
Ideal waist-to-hip ratio:
- For men, .9 or less
- For women, .8 or less
- For both men and women, 1.0 or higher is considered "at risk."
The good news is that even small improvements prove to be beneficial.... Lose an inch or two off your waist and you're already better off. And obviously the way to do that is through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
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