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β€œMen and women with large waists are at increased risk of dying young,” BBC News has reported. The article said that people with a large gut all have the same risk of early death, regardless of whether their body mass index (BMI) is healthy.

The research behind the news tracked more than 100,000 men and women aged 50 and over for nine years. It found that people with very large waists – 47 inches (120cm) or more for men and 42 inches (110cm) or more in women – were about twice as likely to die during the follow-up period compared to thinner people. These deaths were not just from weight-related problems.

It has long been thought that fat collecting around the tummy puts people at greater risk than weight put on elsewhere. The strengths of this study lie in its large size and the collection data on the participants over time rather than their consulting records alone. It may eventually lead to guidance that both BMI and waist circumference need monitoring by people trying to maintain or regain a healthy weight. Regardless of overall weight, people should avoid becoming too big around the middle.

The study was carried out by researchers from the Epidemiology Research Programme at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia.

Extracted from: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/08August/Pages/waist-size-predict-early-death.aspx

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