The ratio of waist to height is crucial
With a piece of string and scissors, you can determine whether you are overweight in two quick and easy steps. The ratio of waist to height is decisive and provides more meaningful information than the common BMI value. Because around the waist lies the so-called visceral body fat. This fat, which is stored in the abdominal cavity, is more harmful to health than other body fat, since it lies around organs such as the pancreas and the liver.
Obesity is a term for a person who is very overweight and has a lot of body fat. Obesity is an increasing health problem in western industrialized countries. The NHS says that around one in four adults and one in five children in England are overweight. Being overweight can lead to serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The BMI is not meaningful enough
The so-called body mass index (BMI) is often used to assess whether a person is overweight or not. If this value is over 24.9, one is considered overweight, with a value over 29.9 one speaks of obesity. However, some experts question the significance of this calculation because it is too imprecise and generalized. According to this calculation, for example, many bodybuilders with extremely little body fat would be considered obese.
The British broadcaster BBC is currently using the series "The Truth About Obesity" to clarify this growing problem in society and wants to help people lose weight. Nutrition expert Dr. Margaret Ashwell showed a quick and easy test that is more meaningful than the BMI value. All you need is a piece of string and scissors.
The string test
The obesity string test is a quick and easy way to find out if you are overweight. According to Dr. Ashwell does this test as follows:
- Cut a piece of cord to the length of your height.
- Fold this piece in half.
- Place the folded cord around your belly.
- If the two ends of the line do not meet, their visceral fat content is too high.
About visceral fat
Belly fat is not only found in overweight people. Even normal weight people can develop an unhealthy abdominal fat percentage. Many German men carry a “Plautz”, colloquially known, with them. A lot of belly fat is an indication of major health risks. A recent study showed that this fat has a particularly negative effect on the heart, regardless of how overweight you are.
The fat surrounds important organs
Visceral fat is healthier than other body fat because it is made up of organs such as the pancreas and liver, increasing the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and 11 different types of cancer. According to Dr. Ashwell's height-to-waist ratio measurement can provide a good indication of the amount of visceral fat.
The good news
The nutritionist has positive news for anyone who has too much visceral fat: "The good news is that visceral fat disappears first," Ashwell said on the show. If you lose only five percent of your body weight, the percentage of unhealthy belly fat drops dramatically.
Simple and effective measures against belly fat
Admittedly, it is easier said than done, but still very effective: eat less and move more. If you want to lose belly fat, these 25 best methods will help. (vb)