Body Shape and Your Health

By Health Day

Today's news brings more proof that when it comes to your health, not all fat is created equal.

Health experts sometimes compare people's body shape to different types of fruit, depending on where they tend to store their fat. Extra fat around the waist brings to mind an apple shape, while fat on the hips and backside creates more of a pear silhouette.

An apple shape may leave your heart in bad shape!

In a new study recently presented at a Heart Rhythm Society conference, researchers followed more than 15,000 people for about 13 years. During this time, 301 of the people died suddenly of a heart-related problem.

The researchers found that people who were obese had a greater chance of dying suddenly.

However, only people's waist-to-hip ratio was related to their risk of death. That means having an apple shape Ð with fat gathering around the midsection rather than the lower body Ð seemed to be especially deadly.

An easy way to see if you're carrying too much weight around your midsection is to measure your waist circumference. Wrap a tape measure around your waist just above your hipbones. A number higher than 35 inches in women or 40 for men puts you at higher risk of heart disease.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.