Posts Tagged ‘kidney damage’

You may not have a white beard, but if your belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly and looks like Santa Claus, take heed. That’s not a jolly good thing. When it comes to health, shape is as important—even more so—than weight.

Body shape—especially extra stored fat—influences risks for such conditions as diabetes and heart disease. The ratio between hips and waist is three times more effective in predicting heart disease than is Body Mass Index (BMI) or weight alone.

Health professionals often refer to body build as apple-shaped or pear-shaped. Those shaped like apples have belly fat above the waist. Pear-shaped individuals have major portions of fat on the thighs. Overweight apple-shaped people have more health risks than those of the same weight who are built like pears. If you look more like an apple than a pear, you will improve your health if you lose a few pounds and decrease that roll of fat.

New evidence shows that people with more belly fat may have higher risks for kidney disease—even when not overweight. Higher blood pressure in the kidneys causes damage to small blood vessels which in turn hinders blood flow through the glomeruli (tiny filters that rid the blood of waste). Regardless of body weight, this is true in healthy individuals who don’t have high blood pressure or diabetes. Overweight individuals have an even greater risk. The glomerular filtration rate (amount of blood passed through the glomeruli each minute) decreases every year with normal aging. Therefore, as apple-shaped individual’s age, they are even more prone to kidney problems.

Weight loss is more crucial for those with upper body fat. You know your physical shape, but look in the mirror again. If your belly shakes like jelly, you and Santa better watch out. Fat above the waist makes a difference. Be good to yourself and get rid of that belly fat.

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