Tape Measure Powerful Tool to Predict Diabetes

We now have over 20 percent of the U.S. population with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Typically, the older one gets the more likely they will have type two diabetes. With nearly two-thirds of the United States overweight it would be easy to believe that total body fat or even total fitness would correlate well with insulin sensitivity. However, this does NOT appear to be the case and they are only indirectly related to diabetes.

The key appears to be your waist size. Robert Crayhon sent me the article below that documents this association. Nearly two years ago I posted an article about this. The study shows clearly that your waist measurement is a powerful predictor of fat that will increase your risk of diabetes. So, although total body fitness doesn't seem to directly correlate, we know that cardiovascular exercise is one of the most powerful ways to obtain a normal waist size and improve your insulin resistance.

This gives us a very powerful, simple and inexpensive tool to keep track of our risk of diabetes, the tape measure. The study shows that the range of ideal waist measurements for men is between 31 and 36 inches. From 36 inches to 40 inches the person would be simply overweight, but above 40 inches the person would be obese. The measurements for women are three inches less.

Here is how to measure your waist circumference:

With a tape measure, measure the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above the umbilicus (belly button). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is my absolute favorite journal and I love the fact that anyone can go their Web site and look at the full text journal article of any article that is over one year old, so you can view the full article now.

Metabolism Vol 52, No 7 (July), 2003: pp 850-857

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