Most women (and men for that matter) understand intuitively whether their bodies tend to store fat around their waists (forming an apple shape) or lower down around their hips, thighs and buttocks (forming a pear shape in women).
But few of us understand the dramatic impact body shape has on our current health and risk of future disease.
A number of recent studies have shown that it is your waist size and body shape rather than how much you weigh or tip the scale that best predicts your risk for a number of chronic diseases.
For example, a study found that while only half of the obese patients studied had metabolic abnormalities that placed them at much greater risk of heart disease, a full quarter of the normal weight adults had these same worrisome metabolic risks as well.
Why the risk in normal weight adults? Experts concluded that waist size may be much more important in determining heart risk than body weight. A normal weight individual can have a greater waist size — and therefore a greater health risk — than an overweight but smaller-waisted friend.
The metabolic abnormalities that were studied included high blood pressure, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) levels. If you have these metabolic factors, chances are you are apple-shaped. The metabolic syndrome is called as “apple-syndrome” because having an apple shape is a necessary part of the mix.
Read more at ABC News