Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes: short, tall, lean, muscular,
big-boned, apple- or pear-shaped. Genes, lifestyle, and certain health
conditions can all impact our body’s size and appearance. Because every person
is unique, there is no one “perfect body” that everyone should strive for. What
matters most is that you take care of your body by eating right, exercising,
getting adequate sleep, and so on. Focusing on being the best you with healthy
habits can help you maintain or reach what size is right for YOU.
Understanding differences in body shapes and composition can
help give you some clues to your body’s health, risk factors, and priorities to
maximize your health.
Apple Vs Pear
When you look at yourself in the mirror are you shaped more
like an apple or a pear? An apple-shaped body carries more weight in their
abdomen and pear-shaped bodies carry more weight around their hips and thighs.
Each shape has different health concerns.
Apple shape: Increased risk for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, early heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Pear Shape: Varicose veins and orthopedic problems
The shape of your
body is mainly influenced by your genes, however women who are post-menopause
and individuals who smoke or consume higher amounts of alcohol are more likely
to have higher amounts of abdominal fat.
Individuals with apple-shaped bodies tend to have higher
risks for health problems, and the health risks increase as waist size grows. Risk
goes up if waist size is greater than:
It’s simple to measure your waist size and all you need is a
measuring tape. Here’s how to do it: Stand and wrap the measuring tape around
your abdomen (directly on your skin). The measuring tape should be above your
hip bones and level with your belly button. Take the measurement just after you
exhale. This is a very simple, quick way to learn how your current shape is
impacting your health risks.
The good news here is that even a small weight loss of 5-10%
of your current body weight can help to lower your risk of disease no matter
what your body shape is. While we cannot change our genes, we can change our
habits by adopting a healthy eating plan and finding ways to get more active.
Remember, YOUR healthy weight is what’s best for you…where you feel your best
with lifestyle habits that are maintainable and enjoyable!