Waist Size and Health Risks in 50-95 Year Olds
Researchers writing in the medical journal Diabetes Care say that while overall body fat and fitness levels are important in predicting health risks, it is your waist size or the measurement of abdominal obesity that is the still the measurement to assess health risk among older adults.
Racette SB, Evans EM, Weiss EP, Hagberg JM, Holloszy JO. Abdominal Adiposity Is a Stronger Predictor of Insulin Resistance Than Fitness Among 50–95 Year Olds. Diabetes Care 29:673-678, 2006
Excerpts From the study abstract
OBJECTIVE—Physical inactivity and increased adiposity contribute to insulin resistance; less is known, however, about the relative contributions of these factors in older adults. The aim of this study was to determine whether cardiovascular fitness, whole-body adiposity, or abdominal adiposity is the strongest predictor of insulin resistance into old age.
CONCLUSIONS—Adiposity and fitness continue to be significant predictors of insulin sensitivity into old age, with abdominal obesity being the most important single factor. These findings support the measurement of waist circumference to assess health risk among older adults.