The measurement of the abdominal circumference is a relevant data to determine if there is obesity or not. In turn, it is a key factor in cardiovascular risk and the possibility of damage to blood circulation.
Waist circumference measurements matter beyond aesthetics. If there is accumulated fat in this area of the body, this becomes a cardiovascular risk factor. To know the value, just pass one meter around the waist, at the level of the navel.
What is the limit that should not be exceeded in the abdominal circumference? The World Health Organization(WHO) establishes that, in the case of women, the measurement should not exceed 88 centimeters, while for men the limit amounts to 102 centimeters.
The risks of having a larger than normal abdominal circumference.
The cardiovascular risk alert comes on when there is obesity. Meanwhile, it is greater if the abdominal circumference exceeds the measures considered healthy, since it denotes an increase in circulatory problems.
If the extra kilos are distributed in different parts of the body, there is a real danger of heart disease. But this increases when the abdominal area accumulates more fat than other body regions. This is because intra-abdominal fatty tissue contains cells, called adipocytes, which produce a certain number of hormones with metabolic value.
Such adipocytes work by releasing free fatty acids, which are metabolized by the liver, which uses them for energy instead of using glucose. Consequently, the sugar not used by the liver remains in the body and increases its level. This process causes blood lipids to rise and blood glucose to skyrocket.
Seen like this, it is understood why a bulging abdomen is a problem much more than an aesthetic one, since it can lead to metabolic syndrome. It is characterized by an increase in bad cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as a decrease in good cholesterol, an increase in blood pressure and hyperglycemia.
How to take measurements correctly?
A meter and some tips are what is necessary to take measurements of the abdominal circumference. Doctors usually do this measurement as a routine check. They also do so when they notice an increase in body mass index (BMI) indicating possible obesity or being overweight.
To correctly take measurements of the abdominal circumference, you must stand, with your arms at your sides. Then loosen the belt, if you are wearing it. You also have to remove the shirt or garment that covers the torso to measure on the skin and at the level of the navel.
The tape measure or meter should be located below the rib cage and above the top of the hip bone. The abdomen should be relaxed. It is convenient to exhale before passing the meter and, after taking the measurement, write down the figures immediately so as not to lose your information.
Types of obesity according to abdominal girth.
There are two types of obesity, depending on the location of the excess fat. One is peripheral obesity; it is spoken of when the adiposity is located in the thighs, buttocks or hips. The other is central obesity, which is located almost exclusively at the level of the abdominal circumference.
When a person has central obesity, they are at twice the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. However, keep in mind that excess fat is always harmful, regardless of where it is located.
When there is more abdominal or visceral fat, it is called android or apple-shaped obesity. While obesity caused by accumulation in the arms, legs and hips is called gynoid or, also, pear-shaped.
Very important organs are located in the area of the abdominal circumference: the liver, stomach, spleen and gallbladder. These are the ones that suffer from the activity of this localized fat. In the case of women, the hormonal changes of menopause help to mark changes in their body structure.
What to do if my abdominal circumference is larger than normal?
To avoid the increase of fat in the abdominal circumference, it is advisable to lead a healthy lifestyle. Aerobic exercises combined with other strength exercises are recommended. The former contributes to the expenditure of calories and the latter tone muscles and improve body posture.
Eating a healthy diet, free of saturated fat and simple sugars, helps control weight. In addition, this type of diet is beneficial for the heart. The hydration is an important factor, since it helps to prevent fluid retention. Good rest relieves stress and improves hormonal function.
The body posture is not a minor issue. It is not advisable to sit for many hours with a curved spine. This position favors the relaxation of the abdominal muscles and the consequent accumulation of fat in the area. Finally, it is essential to do a medical check-up, at least once a year , where the abdominal circumference will be measured to certify that it is reduced.