In recent years there have been many articles in the press about body shape and health. This is most commonly associated with the classification of people as pears or apples - a crude route we must admit.
Most of us understand that different people gain weight in different places. While for many, any fat against goes straight to the hips and thighs, for others, any excess weight will be found around the middle. For obvious reasons, these two different types have come to be termed "pears" and "apples".
Deciding if you are an apple or a pair is quite simple. Aware that information becomes useful is if you can understand the relationship between your body shape and your health. We all know that being overweight can put us at risk for heart disease or diabetes, to name but two, but recent research suggests that your body shape and your health are related.
The key finding is that women who are apples, with waist-to-hip ratios of 0.76 or more, had more than twice the risk of heart disease than the most pears, or those with waist-to-hip ratios less than 0.72. Crucially, this applied even in women who weren't particularly overweight.
Overall, research has shown that a large waist relative to hip size (apples) raises the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and in men, heart disease.
There is no magic way to lose abdominal fat other than the tried-and-tested diet and exercise. However, if you concentrate on eating well and exercising regularly, you will still reduce your risk. Typically, decreasing total fat percentage will also result in a decrease in waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference, and will therefore improve the odds against heart disease.
To find out if you are an apple or a pear, check out our excellent selection of fitness tools.