Recent research states the obvious, if you have a big belly you are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The bigger your waist, the greater the risk.1
Just standing instead of sitting shows benefits
In a recent study, researchers in Australia found that:
- An extra two hours per day spent standing rather than sitting was associated with approximately 2% lower average fasting blood sugar levels and 11% lower average triglycerides (fats in the blood).
- Extra standing time was also associated with higher average levels of the “good” type of cholesterol, HDL, and a 6% lower average total/HDL cholesterol ratio, which indicates an improvement in the total amount of HDL cholesterol in relation to “bad” LDL cholesterol.
- Replacing two hours a day of sitting time with stepping was associated with an approximately 11% lower average BMI and nearly 3 inches smaller average waist circumference.
- In addition, average blood sugar levels fell by approximately 11% and average triglycerides by 14% for every two hours spent walking rather than sitting.1
If you can add weight training that would be even better
Doctors at Harvard found that healthy men who did twenty minutes of daily weight training had less of an increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities.
- Those who increased the amount of time spent in weight training by 20 minutes a day had less gain in their waistline compared with men who similarly increased the amount of time they spent on moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise, and yard work or stair climbing. 2
More muscle – live longer
Doctors at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA say that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely.
The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, is the culmination of previous UCLA research led by Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant clinical professor in the endocrinology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, that found that building muscle mass is important in decreasing metabolic risk.
The study focused on men 55 or older and women who were 65 or older. “The greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” said Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor in the geriatrics division at the Geffen School and the study’s co-author. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.”2
Weight loss is both complex and simple. The complexities come from not understanding what is best for your body – and this is why diet programs fail. At the Magaziner Center for Wellness we offer many weight loss programs to explore what may help your individual situation the best. This may include looking at low vitamin levels such as vitamin D and calcium.
Pot belly and risk of sudden cardiac death
Research has shown that obese individuals with an “apple” shape figure, or larger waste-to-hip ratio (WHR), are at greater risk sudden cardiac death. But the battle to rid yourself of “belly fat” may have become a little easier. Researchers writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition say that their findings suggest that calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation contributes to a beneficial reduction of VAT (visceral adipose tissue) or “belly fat.”7
The researchers took two groups. Randomly gave one group Vitamin D and calcium enriched Orange Juice, and the other group plain Orange Juice. The researchers noted “significant” visceral adipose tissue loss in the Vitamin D/Calcium group(s).
1. Siren R, Eriksson JG, Vanhanen H. Waist circumference a good indicator of future risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. BMC Public Health. 2012 Aug 9;12(1):631. [Epub ahead of print]
1. Genevieve N. Healy et al. Replacing sitting by standing or stepping: associations with cardio-metabolic risk biomarkers. European Heart Journal, July 2015 DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv308
2 Mekary RA et al. Weight training, aerobic physical activities, and long-term waist circumference change in men. Obesity 23,2.1930-739X dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.20949
4. Amini A, Soltanian N, Iraj B, Askari G, Ebneyamin S, Ghias M, Hajian H, Zahed A, Amini M. Association of wrist circumference with cardio metabolic risk factors. J Pak Med Assoc. 2012 Mar;62(3 Suppl 2):S34-6.
5. Racette SB, Evans EM, Weiss EP, Hagberg JM, Holloszy JO. Abdominal Adiposity Is a Stronger Predictor of Insulin Resistance Than Fitness Among 50–95 Year Olds. Diabetes Care 29:673-678, 2006
6. Shen W, Punyanitya M, Chen J, Gallagher D, Albu J, Pi-Sunyer X, Lewis CE, Grunfeld C, Heshka S, Heymsfield SB. Waist Circumference Correlates with Metabolic Syndrome Indicators Better Than Percentage Fat. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Apr;14(4):727-36.
7. Rosenblum JL, Castro VM, Moore CE,et al. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr January 2012 vol. 95 no. 1 101-108