I have to admit that over the years, I’ve become more and more concerned with Santa’s weight. That bow full of jelly has its risks.
It is well established that weight around your belly is a major risk factor for the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and in the case of more recent research, an doubling of your risk of dying from a heart attack.
So instead of cookies for Santa this year, you might want to consider something with a lower glycemic load. Those carrots, for example, that you leave out for the reindeer? Well, maybe we ought to double the serving. One portion for Santa and one for his mates.
This new research was significant…
According to the New York Times, researchers followed 14,941 mean and women with an average age of 54 for almost 13 years. Subjects were evaluated five times over the course of the study and during the 13 year period there were 253 sudden cardiac deaths.
For those that might be unfamiliar with the term, a sudden cardiac death is a heart attack that kills you instantly. I should also note here that even when people do survive a heart attack, their risk of death over the next year is significantly elevated.
Independent of other typical risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, and more, the study participants with the highest waist-to-hip ratio had more than double the risk of death from a heart attack than those considered in the normal range.
Researchers are not exactly sure why this was the case, but the data is clear. The size of your belly carries with it a grave risk for dying from a heart attack.
What is “Waist to Hip Ratio?”
Your waist to hip ratio is calculated by dividing your waist circumference by your hip circumference. For your waist measurement, you run a tape measure around your waist at the level of your belly button. And for your hips, you take the largest circumference you can find around your butt. So, yes, this is a case where you might like to see the size of your butt a little bigger, because if your a man, your death risk in this study doubled at a ratio of greater than .95 and for a women at greater than 1.01.
The good news is that losing your belly fat will reduce your risk. And the only thing standing in your way as always is your willingness to accept the fact that you are at risk, and your decision to do something significant about it.
In the mean time, tell you might want to pass this information along to Santa this year if you see him. Because in spite of his high level of activity one night per year, it appears that he might not be keeping up with his exercise program the rest of the year.