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Spare Tire Could Be Fatal, Even With a Healthy BMI

In the battle of the bulge, belly fat is often a focus because of its relationship with heart disease. Just when I thought the subject of spare tires had been prodded in every way possible, new research has come out that could force more people to take their midsection more seriously. It says that even if your BMI describes your weight as normal, having a spare tire could make you twice as likely to die during a 10-year period compared to those without belly fat.

Researchers at the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition composed one of the largest long-term studies in the world to get their results — 359,387 people ages 25 to 70 from nine European countries were involved. The research indicates that overall weight isn't the only indicator in measuring mortality; waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio have a big impact on mortality risk, too.

With heart disease in mind, women should aim to keep their waist circumference below 35 inches and men shouldn't push 40 inches. Wondering if you are an apple or a pear? Check out our Waist-to-Hip calculator to determine your body type and levels of risk.

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