Chubby Belly a Predictor of Heart Failure

I admit, a little “chub” on a girl is super cute, but it’s probably not healthy. Published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, experts believe larger waist circumferences are associated with higher risk of congestive heart failure in both men and women. For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 36,000 women and over 43,000 men, ages 45-83, who filled out health questionnaires and were followed for seven years. Based on their answers scientists determined women with a normal body mass index (BMI) and a 10 centimeter larger waist measurement had a 15% higher risk of heart failure and men with normal BMI and a 10 centimeter larger waist size had a 30% higher risk; via EurekAlert!

Belly fat gets a lot of bad press. Over the past few months excess abdominal fat has been linked to impaired respiratory function, lame sex life, more headaches and migraines, and increased risk of stroke. And according to Dr. Fuhrman that extra umbilical fat is an excellent indicator that people are overweight, even if they’ve already lost weight.

Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is an important component of heart health. In the November 2003 Healthy Times, Dr. Fuhrman explains why heart problems are preventable and how nutrition helps reverse cardiovascular disease.

Image credit: Goulash75

Belly Fat Takes Your Breath Away

Some people think love handles are cute, but a new study claims carrying extra weight around the abdomen impairs lung function. Published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers examined data on 120,000 people in France, assessing smoking history, alcohol consumption and lung function with respect to Body Mass Index, determining participants with chubby waists, over 35 inches for women and over 40 inches for men, had impaired function; Reuters reports.

Belly fat gets a ton of bad press. In February, a study of 22,211 people with migraines revealed those with bigger waists had more headaches. According to Dr. Fuhrman a diet full of toxins, like alcohol, contributes to headaches and migraines as well. Belly felt has also been linked to greater risk of death.

I can relate to this. When I was slimming down and running a lot my breathing felt sort and shallow, but now it’s much deeper, especially when I do Yoga and I recover a lot faster after a run too.

Image credit: South Park Studios

Howard Stern Gets a Six-Pack of Advice!

Last week, Howard Stern said he wanted six-pack abs. So, being a super-fan, I asked Dr. Fuhrman to help him out. And today, Lisa G. of Howard 100 News talked about it on the show!

Here’s the transcript of Lisa in the studio with Howard and Robin from today’s show:

Howard: Anything else?

Lisa: Yes, an online health blog has given advice to you. Advice on how you might be able to finally get the six-pack abs that you’re hoping for. Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends that you eat carefully every other day, just vegetables, beans and fruit with no grains, oils or animal products. You should be avoiding bread, olive oil and egg whites on those careful days.

Howard: If I did that, I would probably lose another 20 pounds and I’d look like a skeleton.

Robin: But your abs would be flat!

Lisa: You’d get cut.

Howard: I see these guys and they’re also big on top and stuff. I don’t know how they do it. Me, I just start looking more like I was just released from Auschwitz. I don’t get it.

Lisa: Well, the bodybuilders I know they eat eggs whites chicken and broccoli.

Howard: Nah. I don’t think they run. I think that’s what the secret is.

Robin: No. But you got to run. Because you got to take down the body fat, right?

Howard: I don’t know. I don’t know how they do it. And you know what, I’m a little passed my prime.

Robin: You think it’s that. You’re passed the prime.

Howard: My trainer says if I stood up straight I would have no belly.

Everyone laughs.

A mention on the Howard Stern Show, so freaking cool! Thanks again to Lisa G. And Lisa, come on. Take me up on my offer. You and me, let’s do dinner! I’ll bring you free books.

Hey everyone, email Howard 100 News and tell Lisa G. she needs to have dinner with yours truly: howard100news@sirius-radio.com. Help a brother out!

Image credit: HowardStern.com

Research Questions Traditional Heart-Risk Assessments

Two new studies, one in the American Journal of Roentgenology and the other in the British Medical Journal, cast doubt on the long-established Framingham Risk Score for evaluating cardiovascular disease. The Framingham score assesses risk based on age, gender, total blood cholesterol, HDL, smoking, blood pressure and taking blood pressure medication. The first study did not accurately predict risk for a group of 1,653 people with no history of heart disease and the second revealed the Framingham score did no better than chance in predicting the 108 deaths; HealthDay News reports.

Okay, I admit, this report made me woozy, way over my head! So I asked Dr. Fuhrman about it. Here’s what he had to say:

Medical studies are clouded when they only look at the symptoms of unhealthy behavior such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These easily measurable numbers correlate with unhealthful lifestyle and diet-style, but they could reflect past habits, not present ones, plus they are not the sole cause of heart attacks.

These numbers do not incorporate other more critical factors such as diet-style and exercise tolerance and body weight. So if one person had higher cholesterol but was eating significantly healthier and exercising more, they might be at significantly lower risk than a person with a lower cholesterol and blood pressure, but with more intravascular and cellular oxidative stress from their low nutrient diet.

Hopefully that clears it up for you. Now, in other heart-related news, a recent report showed even a little extra belly fat can increase cardiovascular risk. And, in attempt to curb his own heart troubles and those of his city, Chicago’s health commissioner is encouraging everyone to go vegetarian!

Like Dr. Fuhrman says, a vegetable-based diet is the best way to aggressively reverse heart disease!

Image credit: Gare and Kitty

Abdominal Fat Linked to Stroke Risk

New research in Stroke claims large waist circumference may boost stroke risk, even transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke. Scientists studied overweight individuals and determined, after accounting for confounding factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, inactivity and smoking, people with fat around the middle still had an increased risk of stroke; Reuters investigates.

Actually, just the other day, another studied showed even a tiny bit of belly fat ups heart risk and previous reports have determined large waist circumference increases death risk and cancer risk, a staunch warning for girls with muffin tops and fat guys in tight gym clothes. Eek!

People might tell you that chub around your waist is cute, but as Dr. Fuhrman points out, it’s a good indicator that you’ve still got weight to lose, doubly relevant for all those upcoming New Year’s resolutions.

Belly Fat Linked to Heart Failure

A new study in Circulation has determined even a tiny bit of belly fat increases heart risk. Researchers examined 21,094 male doctors. And their findings revealed that in men, 5 feet 10 inches tall, for every 7 pounds of extra body weight, the risk of heart failure increased by 11%. Conversely, the leanest, and most active group, had the lowest risk; Reuters investigates.

Very ironic that they used doctors for the experiment, because a recent report revealed 79% of doctors don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Might help explain the results!