Body Shape: How It Is Connected To Your Health

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Types Of Body Shape

body shape pear vs apple

It is said that “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” However, you can judge a person’s health by their body shape. Generally, an individual can have one of two different body shapes, pear shape or apple shape.

A pear-shaped body is characterized by a waist with a smaller circumference than the hips. On the other hand, in an apple-shaped body, the circumference of the waist is larger than the circumference of the hips.

Body Shape Research

Most research suggests that people with an apple body shape have a higher risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease than individuals with a pear-shaped body. “Recent research indicates that the body shape type of both men and women is also an indicator of health risks,” says Dr Tan Hong Chang, Consultant, LIFE Centre, Singapore General Hospital.

A Mayo Clinic investigation discovered that people with a larger waist (apple-shape) were more than double as likely to die of any cause. They were about 3 times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, than people with a pear body shape.

Calculating Body Shape

It’s easy to find out if your body shape is like an apple or a pear. Simply calculate your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). This can be done by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) = Waist measurement / Hip measurement

.body shape apple

Apple – WHR above 0.8 for women, above 0.9 for men

Health risk:  in an apple-shaped person, most of the fat is distributed around the internal organs in the abdomen area. This is  associated with a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

.body shape pear2

Pear – WHR below 0.8 for women, below 0.9 for men

Health risk: Having a pear body shape indicates a lower health risk compared to an apple body shape.

The Bottom Line

The take home points: Determine whether you have a pear-shaped or apple-shaped body. If your body is apple-shaped, reduce your caloric intake along with increasing your physical activity. Good luck.


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