Being apple ‘no worse for health’ than being a pear

March 11th, 2011 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 11 (IANS) Being an “apple” shape is no less healthy than being a “pear,” says a new study that upsets the popular belief.

Studies found that being an “apple” was three times more powerful an indicator of heart attack risk, than simply being overweight.

People with an “apple” figure have a tendency to store fat around the belly rather than the hips. Doctors believed such people were at a greater risk of heart disease and stroke, reports Telegraph quoting the journal The Lancet.

Arya Sharma, director of Canadian Obesity Network, who led that study, said it would lead to doctors “forgetting about their scales and taking out their tape measures”.

But now an analysis of records from 220,000 people in 58 studies, each monitored for over a decade, has questioned the finding, the report says.

It discovered that having a higher waist-to-hip ratio was no better a predictor of heart disease and stroke risk than being generally overweight, as measured by body mass index (BMI), a height to weight ratio.

The group of scientists led by Cambridge University said their findings “reliably refute” previous recommendations to measure waist-to-hip ratios rather than BMI.

“We have shown that BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio each have a similar strength of association with cardiovascular disease risk,” they wrote.

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