Apple vs. Pear Shape

You’ve probably heard that when it comes to heart health, you’re better off if you carry extra weight around your hips instead of your middle. Well, there is now research that challenges that notion. A study of 220,000 people published in The Lancet medical journal, confirmed that being obese — having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more — is a major risk factor for heart disease, but found the distribution of fat on the body has no impact on that risk.

BMI is widely used to determine people’s health risks, and it’s calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.

Previous studies had suggested that apple-shaped people — have a three times greater risk of heart attack than people with general obesity as measured by BMI. So a large international consortium of scientists set out to try and settle the issue.

The Lancet study involved taking weight, hip, waist, blood pressure, cholesterol and other key data from more than 220,000 adults — who had no previous history of heart disease — and tracking them for almost a decade. During that time, around 14,000 of them had heart attacks or strokes.

Researchers say the bottom line is that all types of obesity are equally bad for your heart.

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