Belly to height ratio
There is a simple test that predicts your risk for developing diseases linked to excessive insulin levels, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Waist / height = risk ratio
- Wrap a tape measure around you waist (horizontally). The spot to measure from is the top of your hip bones.
- Take a few breaths and take the measurement when you lightly exhale (at the end of a normal expiration). Don't suck in your tummy!
- Write down the result (in inches or centimetres) and divide by your height.
Ideally you should be at 0.5 or below:
- 0.49 = Females at risk.
- <=0.5 = Healthy male ratio
- 0.51 = BMI 25 equivalent.
- 0.53 = Males at risk.
- 0.57 = BMI 30 equivalent, high risk probably obese.
- 0.58 = Substantial risk
- 0.63 = Morbidly obese.
Belly fat - visceral fat
The amount of belly fat or visceral fat has a high correlation with metabolic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.
A beer belly is created by:-
- Beer and alcohol metabolism in the liver.
- Sugar intake (particularly fructose) metabolism in the liver.
The fatty acids produced by the liver are delivered around the body via the blood. But much of the fat ends up stored in fat tissue, particulary in visceral fat around your abdominal organs. This leads to the creation of a beer belly.
Eating all day and night causes our pancreas to constantly pump out insulin. People also commonly eat processed foods, carbs and sugars that are easily digested (they have a high Glycemic Index). Visceral fat is technically excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation, it's also known as a “deep” fat that is stored further underneath the skin. It's a form of gel-like fat that's wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidneys.
Many studies have pointed to an association between insulin resistance and visceral fat. resulting in the increased risk of a number of health problems including type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat secretes a protein called retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) which has been shown to increase resistance to insulin.