Beer Bellies Indicators of Bigger Problems - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/24/08

Beer Bellies Indicators of Bigger Problems

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You may notice it more in men but the so-called "beer belly" can be a bummer for women too.

Doctors say that for people with a growing middle, a tight waistband is the least of their problems.  Abdominal fat is associated with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, higher risk of stroke, an increased risk of dementia, and sleep apnea.

So how do you know when a protruding stomach has reached the danger zone?  Cardiologist Perry Weinstock says to put a tape measure around your waist to see if you are at risk, but do not put it too low.

Dr. Weinstock says, "We want to have it right where the belly button is and at the top right at the angle of the hip, parallel with the floor.  So gentlemen would be right at about 48 inches and anything about 40 would be an area of concern for his doctor."

For a woman, he says a waistline over 35 inches is risky.  Dr. Weinstock says that beer gets all the blame for big bellies, but he says that any food or drink high in carbohydrates will do the same thing, we just don't call it a pasta belly or sugar belly although, for many, that's the problem.

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