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Hip fat indicates lower health risk: study

TT/Rebecca Martin · 23 Jan 2012, 07:18

Published: 23 Jan 2012 07:18 GMT+01:00

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“The results indicate that a person with broad hips but thin waist is at the lower end of the risk scale, while a person with narrow hips and broad waist is at the higher end,” said Stefan Söderberg, cardiology specialist at Umeå University, in a statement.

Through studying the relationship between waist and hip measurements on 8,000 people on Mauritius over the course of 20 years the scientists are the first in the world to connect obesity to early death in a South Asian population.

The study shows that the real effects of obesity may be underestimated when hip circumference is not fully taken into account.

“By including the protective effect of the hip fat into the equation we have been able to isolate stomach fat, measured around the waist, as a determining health risk. It looks as if this kind of obesity is more dangerous than we thought, especially for the South Asian population,” said Söderberg.

A high waist measurement has previously been seen as a better indicator of dangerous obesity than a high Body Mass Index (BMI) but the new results indicate that the circumference of the waist only show half of the truth.

The hip circumference should also be considered, according to the scientists who argue that both measurements are important factors to judge the health risk in obese patients.

Story continues below…

The study, which has been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, builds on a co-operation between scientists in Sweden, Australia, Mauritius, Finland, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:23 January 23, 2012 by martiancat
turn the title around! it is opposite to the article
08:53 January 23, 2012 by Rishonim
Good news for 95% of Swedish women
11:14 January 23, 2012 by johnny1939
Swedish people are nice and slim compared w/ the British and the Americans...just keep on moving and stay away from too much "godis" and you will probably be just fine. I find swedish food much too salty though.
12:26 January 23, 2012 by yite
on 8,000 people on ´Mauritius` over the course of 20 years the scientists are the first in the world to connect obesity to early death in a South Asian population.

Good observation but Mauritius is in southern part of Africa not Asia just for thoughts
12:30 January 23, 2012 by GLO
A study to find out some thing everyone knows......WOW!!!
15:41 January 23, 2012 by RobinHood
How much money did we pay to learn that fat unhealthy people die earlier than thin healthy people?
20:30 January 23, 2012 by entry
@Jonny #3

When I ride the bus and tram service here in Sweden and I see the orbs around me I do not see these slim Swedes you talk about.

Skeletal structure needs to be considered when determining obesity. BMI is bogus and serves no purpose but to increase obesity rates.
02:00 January 24, 2012 by GuenterW
"risks for people with broad hips and narrow waist are significantly lower than for those with narrow hips and broad waist."

So into which category does the woman in the photo fall?
12:35 January 24, 2012 by si
Today I have learnt that that hip and stomach fat are not the same and that fat people are less healthy - look forward to the next study - how about "People with less fat are more healthy" - I'm sure specialist Stefan Söderberg could get some more funding and stretch out the mileage..
23:56 January 24, 2012 by willowsdad
We can all sleep more soundly knowing the fat police are on the job.
17:19 January 27, 2012 by tadchem
Ad hoc medicine can be dangerous.

When is the medical community going to start trying to identify the *causes* of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc. instead of just blaiming the patient (who knows even less about the causes of diseases than the physician) and throwing chemicals at the patient?

You can't cure anything if you don't have a clue what the cause is.
17:42 January 27, 2012 by james_g
@ yite - Mauritius is in the Indian Ocean nearly 2000km from the nearest African mainland...
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