Men are more likely to have belly fat than women, but waist size doesn’t just contribute to being overweight or obese. Belly fat goes deeper than the surface of the body and can be particularly hazardous to health as it surrounds the vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. Fat around these vital organs increases the risk of being diagnosed with conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.
Dr Youssef Beaini, GP and clinical lead for cardiovascular disease, at the three CCGs said: “Many men don’t realise that their waist measurement is not the same as their trouser size. We’re encouraging men across Bradford district and Craven to get a tape measure out and measure their waistline. If your waist measures more than 37 inches (94cm), you could be at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and erection problems. You are at significantly higher risk of these conditions if your waist measures more than 40 inches (102cm) and you should make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk.”
“To measure your waist, find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips and measure mid-way between these points, typically around the belly button. Then breathe out naturally and take your measurement.”
The best way to combat excess weight around the belly is to make lifestyle changes, including moving more, eating well and watching alcohol intake. Changes to your diet such as choosing healthy snacks and meals, reducing portion sizes and trying to drink water rather than sugary drinks can all help. Keeping active is also important, for example, think about if you could replace a car journey with a walk or bike ride.
More advice on making lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke can be found on the Bradford’s Healthy Hearts website.
For more information and tips on getting rid of a hazardous waist, visit the Men’s Health Forum website. Further hints, tips and information will also be shared on social media throughout the week, search for #mhw2017 and #hazardouswaist.