Metabolic Blues

It seems to be unfortunate, but inevitable, for many of us that as we get older our weight increases. Somehow it matters little how much we stress over our BMI, eat healthy (or try), and take regular exercise (or try), our shape never gets back to how we fondly remember it. We have changed from that lithe, spritely figure in those now fading photographs to taking on a more fruity appearance – more apple or pear shaped.

Unfortunately the extra weight puts us at risk for a variety of problems known as metabolic syndrome, which is shorthand for a whole lot of things going wrong. Now Kang et al took a group of 565 76-year old Koreans and gave them dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans (1). These scans are normally used for bone density measurements, but can also yield fat densities around the body.

After a great deal of data analysis the biggest risk factor for metabolic syndrome wasn’t the participants BMI values. The clear troublemaker turned out to be the amount of android fat.

Android fat wasn’t something that I had been focusing on in my workout/eating plan although I clearly should have. I have been stuck with BMI and will now have to become more sophisticated. The android fat is the fat that makes us look “apple shaped” and, of course, means that our waist measurements are more important than our BMI.

My smartphone app is stuck with BMI. It’s time that our Android phones had an app that logs our waist measurement as a guide to our Android fat level and gives us advice on diet.


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