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Radio Shows | Pear or Apple — Health Risks of Body Shapes | mp3wmawav

Most people know they're either an apple or a pear… Personally I'd rather look like an underwear model.

Fat chance Dave - you're apple shaped and that can carry certain health risks.

Yeah, I'll never compete with Michael Jordan!

Our body shapes are determined by our skeletal structure and body fat distribution. If most of your weight is in your hips, buttocks and thighs you're pear shaped and if it's around your waist, you're apple shaped.

One way to determine which you are is to divide your waist measurement by your hips. Ladies, if your waist to hip ratio is more than zero point 8 and guys, if yours is more than 1, you're both apples and face greater health risks.

That's because people who store excess fat in their abdomen are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and face a greater risk of breast cancer, sleep apnea and type II diabetes.

Research has shown body shape seems to be a better predictor of potential health risk than the more popular body mass index or BMI.

Your bodies naturally store fat, but men and women do so differently. Due to the hormone estrogen, women store more fat than men for childbearing. Estrogen also causes fat to go to the butt, thighs, and hips. However, when women reach menopause, estrogen levels drop and fat starts to go to the belly.

For men, the hormone testosterone not only causes them to store less fat, it reduces fat in general by helping to metabolize it. On the other hand, the absence of estrogen in men means the fat goes directly to their waist.

There are two things you can do to change your shape. One simple thing to do is stop eating fast food altogether and secondly, start exercising. Even walking can have a significant impact on your health. And by the way Norbert, you are not underwear model material either.

Says You!

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For more information…

Author, Dr. Marie Savard gave a talk at Penn State about her book entitled "Apples and Pears: The Body Shape Solution for Weight Loss and Wellness" (Atria, 2005). Dr Savard is an internist and a well known author and expert on women's health. She is a frequent contributor to ABC News.
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The increased risk of health issues can also be seen in Children who are apple rather than pear shaped.
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as well as men and women.
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This website provides a number of calculators to determine your body mass index as well as other indicators of fitness.
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Heart attack risk correlates better with shape than BMI in this report on a publication in Lancet medical journal.
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