When it comes to your health, it is important to be aware of and manage your weight. But according to Don Colbert, M.D., author of The Bible Cure series (Siloam), you should also be aware of how you're overweight. Where is your body's excess fat located? This is critically important when it comes to evaluating your risk of developing certain health conditions.
Apple-shaped. Do you have a few love handles on your tummy, abdomen and back? If you have abdominal obesity, or central obesity, you are considered "apple-shaped."
"If you are apple-shaped, you are much more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes and coronary artery disease," says Colbert in his book The Bible Cure for High Blood Pressure (Siloam). He explains that when your fat is mainly in your abdomen, it tends to accumulate in your arteries, leading to vascular disease.
People who are apple-shaped also tend to be insulin resistant, Colbert says. This can lead to diabetes and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Pear-shaped. If your extra fat is stored in your thighs, buttocks and hips, you are "pear-shaped." According to Colbert, "This body shape is not nearly as dangerous as apple-shaped obesity."
Colbert offers a quick way to determine which shape you have. Measure the narrowest area around your waist and the widest area around your hips.
Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. If this number is greater than 0.95 in men or greater than 0.8 in women, then you have an apple shape. To prevent insulin resistance and lower your weight, which in turn will lower your blood pressure and risk for other diseases, Colbert recommends choosing a diet of low-glycemic, high-fiber foods such as vegetables, whole grains and legumes.