Why Are We Being Told to Look at our Waist Circumference?
Last week there has been a call from Public Health England to take the tape measure around our waist and use it to keep track of our health, especially for type 2 diabetes. So what does our waist measurement tell us about our health?
Why Waist Circumference?
In the mid-forties, a French physician reported that the complications most commonly associated with obesity, were in fact more closely associated with excess fat around the abdomen (upper body obesity) rather than weight per se. Since then studies have continuously shown that this measurement is a better overall indicator not only for type 2 diabetes risk but also for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions associated with lifestyle choices. It is however important to note that there are different cut-off points based on age, sex, as well as ethnic groups.
Therefore it is important to define obesity not only on the basis of body mass index. Other measurements such as waist circumference, as well as skin fold tests have a place alongside other metabolic risk factors such as blood cholesterol levels.
How can a Low Carbohydrate Lifestyle Help?
By changing your dietary habits and choosing to eat items that are lower in sugars and starches will help to minimise the constant blood sugar spikes which will in turn lead to a stable levels of insulin.
Once insulin levels are stabilised, the body will start to look at using other sources to fuel itself, mainly fat and protein. By following a dietary lifestyle that is low in carbohydrates will allow the body to naturally start burning unwanted body fat for energy - the fat that has been deposited in the abdomen area as well as in other area of the body.
This will in turn not only result in changes on the scale (thereby affecting one’s BMI number) but also translate into changes in body shape as the body is essentially fuelling itself from it’s unwanted body fat deposits.
Natural Low Carb Store
The Natural Low Carb Store way of doing things is quite simple. We promote a low-carb, high-protein, moderate-fat approach to weight loss and health. Although we are in the same school of thought as Atkins, our approach to diet and lifestyle is different.
We embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar spikes in the progress.
A quick glimpse at a low-carb meal plan one can notice that it is balanced, natural, low in trans-fat, low in sugar and low in salt. It also provides omega 3 and 6, and essential amino acids. It is full of food containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, as well as fibre.
Studies have also shown that high-fat meals do not increase the Cardiovascular Disease markers such as cholesterol and blood pressure. What has been shown is that subjects following a low-carbohydrate diet had better blood cholesterol profiles on the whole.
The Natural Low Carb Store way is not only about being healthy and making the right choices. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you make an informed decision.
BBC News, (2014). 'Tape measure test' call on diabetes. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-28564566 [Accessed 6 Aug. 2014].
Cameron, A., Magliano, D. and S\"oderberg, S. (2013). A systematic review of the impact of including both waist and hip circumference in risk models for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and mortality. Obesity Reviews, 14(1), pp.86--94.
Despr\'es, J., Lemieux, I. and Prud'homme, D. (2001). Treatment of obesity: need to focus on high risk abdominally obese patients. Bmj, 322(7288), pp.716--720.
Janssen, I., Katzmarzyk, P. and Ross, R. (2004). Waist circumference and not body mass index explains obesity-related health risk. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 79(3), pp.379--384.