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Shrink That Gut!

If losing weight means achieving a certain number on a scale, then you may want to reevaluate what it means to live healthier. New research has shown that your health isn't determined by how much extra weight you are carrying but where you are carrying it. What’s more, studies show larger waist sizes for men and women are linked to higher risk for heart attack, cancer, diabetes, dementia and even incontinence.
Certainly, you're not entirely to blame. A large majority of doctors still use scales and body mass index as an indicator of health. These methods, therefore, place an emphasis on weight, but do not consider where the weight is being gained.
In general, women should keep a waist measurement below 31.5 inches, and men should keep it under 37 inches. Keep in mind that these numbers fluctuate when considering height and ethnicity. For example, Japanese men are advised to keep their waist under 33.5 inches, but Japanese women shouldn't go over 35.5 inches. A simple rule to remember: Your waist should be less than half your height.
If you have a large waist, your first goal should be to stop gaining weight. Next, rest assured that even a small amount of weight loss can have a big effect on your health. No one is asking you to go crazy! Instead, a few minor improvements in diet and exercise can make a difference. And remember, there's no way to "target" your weight loss in your body. The only way to lose it with regular old aerobic activity.
What small changes have you made to slim your waistline? [New York Times]

Posted: 5/28/08

I was a little confused by this too. But I was thinking that, perhaps, they are allowing Japanese women and men to have a bigger waist because of the fact that they are shorter. Maybe their bigger waist size is not considered as unhealthy as it would be for the average (and most likely taller) American woman or man. (??) Just a thought ... who knows if I am right! (:


In response to "Shrink that Gut" I was confused by the comment that Japanese men should keep their waist under 33.5 and Japanese women under 35.5. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me as Japanese citizens as a group are somewhat shorter and smaller than the average American, regardless of the American's ethnic heritage. Also, why would a woman have a larger waist than a man in Japan?