Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pear body shape or apple: Which is healthier?

Image credit: Bing

For years researchers have been studying body shapes and risk of disease. The common notion that having a pear shaped body instead of an apple shape (with a thicker waistline) is healthier may not be true.

Scientists at UC Davis Health System recently studied fat in the belly and compared it to fat in the hips and thighs, finding a protein in butt and thigh fat that promotes inflammation - just like those found in belly fat.

The proteins lurking in thigh and hip fat were linked to higher levels of inflammation in the bloodstream, meaning higher risk of obesity related complications including heart disease and diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of factors that promote chronic diseases and include high blood pressure, higher than normal waist to hip ratio, abnormal lipid levels and elevated blood sugar.

The finding could mean a new way to gauge a person's health risks by measuring protein levels in fat - regardless of where it's located. A flat belly and higher than normal body mass index may not be as protective as previously thought. A pear shape body could pose the same health risks as an apple shape, contrary to popular beliefs. Read the original story here.