The human body shape has a significant correlation with our health risks. At the mention of body shape and health risk concerns, the thought of obesity comes to mind. However, that is not the only concern associated with body shape. People with large waists are considered to be at risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is important to understand different body shapes and the threats that they could pose to our health.
Health risks to our body come from different sources with body shape being one of them. Knowledge of your body shape can give insight into your health condition and probable risks. This can be established using a WHR calculator to determine the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). The WHR is a ratio of waist measurement to hip measurement.
Body Shape and Associated Risks
Dividing your waist circumference with the hip measurement will give you the WHR value. The waist circumference is measured around the smallest section of your waist, usually about an inch above the navel. Your hip circumference is the widest part of the hip. Here are the two main categories of body shapes determined by WHR values and the associated health risks:
Apple Shape (WHR Values >0.8 for Women, >0.9 for men)
This means that your waist size is more than the normal and recommended size compared to your hip size.
Health risks: This is the riskiest of all body shapes. Intense fat distribution around the internal organs in the human abdomen area risking diabetes, heart disease and stroke. You may not be overweight but if you have an apple-shaped body, there is a health risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or even cancer.
Fat around your waist is comparable to an iceberg. It grows deep inside the abdominal cavity and occupies the space in between the body organs. Belly fat heavily influences body metabolism by releasing substances that lead to increased blood sugar levels.
Pear Shape (WHR Values <8 for Women, <0.9 for men)
WHR values less than 0.8 for women and less than 0.9 for men implies a larger hip section than the waist measurement. In this condition, most of the body fat is deposited around your buttocks, hips and thighs.
Health risks: The pear body shape is indicative of low metabolic risks unlike in apple-shaped bodies. Although there are no consistent study results, people with a pear-shaped bodies are less likely to suffer from heart diseases. However, other factors could make even those with such a body shape susceptible to heart health attacks.
There could be other body shapes such as the hourglass, intervened triangle and ruler shapes but these two are the main ones.
Managing Your Body Shape for Reduced Health Risks
Having understood the dangers associated with body shapes, it is important to make a prudent effort to manage them. Even with that, you should know that your body shape is determined genetically. However, our diets and lifestyle can impact our body shapes negatively.
Genetic factors leading to undesirable body shapes can be managed through improved diet and lifestyle. Here are several options to consider to reduce health risks associated with body shapes:
- Ensure you eat properly balanced diets in all your meals regardless of your body shape.
- Reduce the consumption of saturated fats usually found in red meat and high-fat dairy products and hydrogenated fats in processed foods
- Eat low-fat foods such as yoghurt, milk and cottage cheese to break stubborn fat cells in the thighs and hips
- Exercise regularly for about half an hour daily or at least 5 days a week
Keep checking your waist size because it is vital to your health condition. Using your body shape calculator will help you stay in check and attain the ideal waist size. Your pear-shaped is not an excuse to living carelessly.
Maintaining the Perfect Body Shape
Many research reports propose having a pear body shape rather than an apple body shape due to health risks associated with the latter. However, these assertions may not be conclusive and are just a means to help you enhance your general health. Regardless of your body shape, it is important to eat well and keep exercising. Even though our genetics tend to govern where we are putting on weight, we can manage the conditions by the lifestyles we lead.