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Humans come in all shapes and sizes. You can be apple or pear or hourglass! You might even feel the pressure to have an hourglass figure. Keeping those pressures aside, what if your body shape is coming in the way of good health? Turns out that people with apple shaped-bodies might have to be more concerned about their health. Many health risks, including diabetes, are associated with the apple body shape. So, if you wish to be in the pink of health, you must think of shedding belly fat.
If most of the fat is stored in your midsection and less fat is seen in your thighs and hips, you have an apple-shaped body.
HealthShots checked with Dr Hemanth Kumar Kasaragod, Additional Director, MAS & Bariatric Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Delhi, to know about apply body shape and how it can affect one’s health.
What causes apple-shaped body?
The expert shares that the causes of an apple-shaped body are the same as the causes of obesity. A sedentary lifestyle, with excess calorie consumption, are foremost reasons.
Apple body shape is considered as the highest risk for health issues
Obesity in any form is detrimental. In the case of an apple-shaped body, there is more deposition of fat in the viscera than subcutaneous region. Dr Kasaragod notes that subcutaneous fat is more of cosmetic significance while visceral fat has more negative affect on the metabolism of the body (ways to reduce visceral fat). This fat is the main culprit associated with chronic diseases.
Health risks associated with apple-shaped body
Health risks and apple-shaped body go hand-in-hand, so you should know what you may have to deal with. Here are some health risks:
• There is increased insulin resistance, causes inflammation, increases
blood pressure and affects lipid profile negatively, all leading to collectively called Metabolic syndrome.
• Sleep apnea
• Cancers of gastrointestinal tract and breast
• Type 2 diabetes
• Cardiovascular diseases (coronary artery disease)
• Kidney diseases
Other body shapes
Apart from the apple body shape, there are more body types.
In this body type, circumference of the chest and hips are the same. The expert says that weight gain is evenly distributed though belly may protrude with excess gain.
The hip circumference is greater than chest, so weight gain happens in the hips.
The circumference of hips and chest is the same with a pronounced waist. Weight gain happens least in the waist compared to other areas.
In any form of body shape, weight gain is a definite culprit. Even having a favourable body shape like pear-shaped or hourglass, weight gain is still not acceptable. You need to remain in the ideal body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI), says the expert. Knowing a particular body shape is important in detecting weight gain so that it can be rectified.
Tips to stay healthy
Irrespective of the body shape, there are some basic things that you should follow to stay healthy.
1. Measure inches instead of weight
Losing just two inches from the waist significantly decreases the risk
of a heart disease.
Decrease the intake of simple sugars like sweets, refined wheat flour-made food. Eat more healthy moderate fats like olive oil, Omega-3 fatty acids and complex carbohydrates with fibre. Increase protein intake in food. Include nuts and fruits in limited quantity in your diet .
You should go for brisk walk (30 minutes per day), strength training (3 to 4 times per week) and do 15 to 20 minutes of cardio per day.
4. Monitoring and screening
Geo for regular blood test, including lipid profile, and Blood Pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring, depending on age. Cancer screening should also be done.
Also, reduce stress and try to have a goodnight’s sleep to stay healthy.