Infographic: What Your Body Shape Says About Your Health

Body shape can help doctors decide what possible health risks you could face. Waist measurement, bust size, and hips can play a huge role in your overall health.

 

Waist Measurement Plays a Part in Your Overall Health

Many doctors believe when it comes to your health, your waist measurement is important.

Body mass index (BMI) is one way to investigate how healthy your weight is for your height, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. If you are over your BMI healthy range, it probably means you are storing extra fat. The greater risk comes from where you store that fat.

There are two main body types that are related to your possible health risks — apple and pear. Fat around the abdomen, apple shaped, has always been believed to cause more health problems than fat stored around the thigh, pear shaped. But recently, it is believed that holding it around your bottom and thighs is just as risky.

Body Shapes with the Highest Risk of Health Problems

Apple and pear body shapes tend to have the highest risk.

Apples tend to be at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, and strokes because they hold a larger amount of tummy fat. Pears tend to have a lower metabolic risk compared to an apple. But recent studies show that stored fat in the thighs can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome.

But, what if you aren’t a pear or an apple?

There are seven different types of body shapes that you could be and they tell us a little bit about your body as well.

Now that we know that waist size is becoming a more accurate determinant to assess people’s health risks. A normal weight individual with a larger waist can have a greater health risk than overweight but smaller-waisted friend.

Smaller waisted body types include:

  • Neat Hourglass
  • Full Hourglass
  • Pear
  • Lean column

Larger waisted body types include:

  • Apple
  • Rectangle
  • Inverted Triangle

Metabolic Syndrome Implications

Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of factors:

  • A larger waistline
  • High blood pressure
  • Lower “good” cholesterol

All of these factors can increase one’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Doctors tend to rely on waist size to predict health risks. For women, a waist size of more than 35 inches means generally way too much visceral fat. For men, a waist size of more than 40 inches is considered risky.

Genetics and Body Shape

The important thing to remember is genetics predicts your baseline body type and shape. You can’t always change certain things about your appearance that were predetermined by genetics. For example, your bone structure, frame size, where you tend to hold extra fat, and your metabolism are generally determined by your genetics. What you do with that body type is all up to the healthy choices you make.

Regardless of whatever body shape you have, you should always:

  • Maintain a well-balanced diet
  • Cut back on saturated fats, like high-fat dairy and red meat
  • Opt for a low-fat diet, this can help break down stubborn fat cells
  • Do regular exercise of moderate intensity at least 20-30 minutes a day, at least five times per week