Health Risks of the Apple Shape May Include Dementia
Having a "pear" or "apple" shape can determine the health of a woman's body - and mind. Of course, Eve knew all about the troubles an apple could bring.
If you gain weight in your chest and belly, you have an apple shape. If your weight gain is in your hips and thighs, you're a pear. Studies have long shown that if your body fat is concentrated primarily in the middle - like an apple, it is more biologically active and is correlated with health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
This study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that as body weight increased in post-menopausal women, cognitive function decreased. But the worst cognitive decline occurred when high body weight was coupled with an apple shape compared to the pear shaped body fat distribution.
This troubling result seems to coincide with studies showing a higher risk of dementia in people with high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes, the risk of which is heightened by having the apple-shaped body fat distribution.
If you're overweight, you may still be healthy, as long as you're physically active and eat healthfully. But if your excess weight is carried mostly around the middle, it would be wise to keep track of your health, especially your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol, and lose weight so that your waist circumference* measures 35" or less, which is what health authorities recommend for women (40" or less for men).
*Your accurate waist circumference is measured at the level of your belly button (not the smallest part of your middle).