The World over we talk about obesity, weight and fat percentages. We all tend to ignore an increasing waistline especially when we are young. By the time we reach middle age, our waistlines are well set at different levels. In fact, in today’s World, even the young have waistlines which are above normal. We do not really bother so long as we are active or young. A lot of times, we read information on the internet and feel happy if our body fat percentage is below prescribed limits or our waist to hip ratios are fine. What we do need to ask is that is our waist larger than what is required?
RISKS OF BULGING WAISTLINE
Various researches are now showing that a bulging waistline is more of a health concern than overall body fat percentages, body mass index and waist to hip ratios. Even if these are normal, the absolute waist size determines your future health status. This is a much better indicator of health than the other parameters. The other parameters and ideal guidelines are BMI or Body Mass Index and Waist to Hip Ratio. A greater than 0.5 waist to hip ratio is a strong indicator of high blood pressure and a BMI of greater than 25% is a strong indicator of being over weight.
Another surprising fact to be found is that the more affluent you are, the higher is the waistline as well obesity. The most affluent (especially women) have much higher waistlines followed by the middle income group and the least is to be found in lower income groups. Therefore, there is a clear link established now between comfort, lack of of physical activities and eating the wrong kind of foods. This link is much stronger in countries like India where the rich are fat and unhealthy and the poor are thinner but more healthy. However, This gap is fast decreasing and the poor are also getting fatter by the day thanks to availability of processed and junk foods at low prices and jobs which require less of physical effort.
WHAT IS THE REQUIRED SIZE
There are different parameters of absolute waist size based on genetics, race, age and activity levels. However, there are two broad guidelines which have been established now for South Asians and for Caucasians for absolute waistline size.
a) For Caucasians the maximum recommended waistline is 35.4 inches for men and 31.4 inches for women.
b) For South Asians, it was the same waist recommendation till now. However, studies conducted in India show that anything above 31.2 inches for men and 29 inches for women starts increasing the risk for cardio metabolic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure. Of course, there are many other factors at play and one need not be too worried if you are really healthy and practicing Yoga on a regular basis.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION.
If we go by these cut off recommendations even by caucasian standards, more than one third of people in India, China and many parts of the World including the USA are fat or over limit. Even children below thirteen are facing this problem and all young people from between thirteen to thirty are getting visibly fat.
WHY SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?
These facts are not merely observations or something alarmist. So many researches over years in various countries have clearly shown that men and women with waistlines higher than the recommended limits are at between a twelve and twenty times higher risk of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, breast and endometrial cancer. The younger you are with higher waistlines, the younger you develop these diseases. This is being especially being observed in South Asian countries where men and women even in their late twenties and thirties are increasingly getting these chronic diseases.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
These problems occur because of the quality of fat that accumulates in the abdominal region. Even if your BMI and overall fat percentage is fine, the fat which resides in the abdominal and waist regions causes problems. This fat is known as visceral fat and is primarily responsible for releasing certain hormones and fatty acids in the blood. These cause an increase in blood glucose, hormonal imbalances and also cause inflammation of the immune system. Prolonged exposure to these factors over a period of time result in various diseases appearing even in apparently healthy individuals.
CAUSES OF ACCUMULATION OF WAIST FAT
There are specific reasons which have been found which trigger accumulation of fat in the abdominal region apart from heredity (which actually plays only a small role). Most of the causes which have been identified are what are popularly known as lifestyle causes. The most important of these are:
- Processed and packaged foods
- Regular physical activity levels (and not just once a day exercise regimes)
- Excess actual and hidden sugar intake
- Eating more than required.
SOLUTIONS TO REACH IDEAL WAISTLINES
There are so many solutions which are simple to implement and we should all do. However, we get lazy and ignore all of these under various excuses. Some of these are:
- Regular exercise
- Regular movement and physical activities through the day
- Stop processed and packaged foods and junk food
- Reduce outside food
- Reduce or stop alcohol and sugar laden foods
- Manage stress
However, it has been found that one discipline takes care of all these at one go. That is Yoga. So start practicing authentic India based and genuine Yoga to take care of your waistline. Find the best online yoga programs to suit your needs on wellzee and get results within ninety days.