Who Said Size Doesn’t Matter?

Waist Size and Your Health

07/8/15 9:17 AM

Photo by: Mike Licht | Flickr.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4508825094/

While America is waking up to the truths of nutrition and fitness, the rise in awareness is slow-moving and labor-intensive. Currently, over 33% of Americans remain obese, and about 34% are classified as overweight. The effects of obesity on an individual’s overall health and quality of life have been under investigation in the United States for quite some time. The most recent study on waist size, however, comes out of the U.K., which weighs in at number seven in the world with a rate of 23%.

A New Study

Charity organization Nuffield Health released a fresh study examining the links between excess weight in women and the occurrence of infertility and breast cancer. Researchers at Nuffield, the leading health charity in the United Kingdom, distributed a series of tests to almost 55,000 women, designed to evaluate the general fitness level and health of each subject. Data was gathered from the results, which concerned the respective weight, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar of the women, as well as any pre-existing conditions or issues.

The Results

A vast majority of the women tested were found to be overweight, while 57% of them were categorized in the highest-risk weight bracket. The researchers surmised that this exceedingly high level of obesity corresponds with health issues associated with poor or abnormal ovulation and ovarian function, particularly in cases where the fat sits right around the waistline. This damage to the ovulatory system can not only cause harm in the form of ovarian cysts (the frequency of which is increased by high body mass by up to 60%) but can hinder and sometimes halt fertility.

Aside from the known health risks associated with obesity that have been determined by years of preceding research (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and heart attacks come to mind) this most recent study further connects the incidence of overweightness with various forms of cancer, especially that of the breasts. While other health-hindering issues and habits, like smoking and lack of proper sleep, were found to influence the outcome, the specialists at Nuffield and elsewhere agree that being overweight is one of the most high-risk conditions. While being fit obviously has aesthetic value in our society, health experts in the U.K., America, and elsewhere are much more concerned with the public’s health and well-being.

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