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Larger Waist Size Predicts Early Death

This is from today’s BBC Health News

‘Love handles’ raise death risk

A thickening girth can be a sign of type 2 diabetes
Carrying extra fat around your middle dramatically increases your risk of early death, even if your overall weight is normal, say researchers.

A study of almost 360,000 people from nine European countries found waist size a “powerful indicator” of risk.

Each extra 2ins (5cm) raised the chance of early death by between 13% and 17%.
The New England Journal of Medicine study stressed GPs should regulraly measure patients’ waists as a cheap and easy way to assess health.

The link between waist fat and health problems has been established for some time, but the sheer size of the study gives scientists a far more accurate picture.

The researchers, including some from Imperial College London, followed the volunteers, who were an average of 51 years old at the start of the study, for the next 10 years, during which time 14,723 of them died.

The standard measure of obesity, body mass index (BMI) remained a reasonable predictor of health problems, with those with a high reading more likely to die from cardiovascular disease or cancer.
However, the ‘hip/waist ratio’, a number produced by dividing the waist size by the hip measurement, and just the waist measurement on its own, were both good ways of sorting out those at highest risk.
Some people who had a completely normal BMI score, but a larger than average waist, were at significantly higher risk of early death.

At the extremes, men with waists exceeding 47ins (119cm) had a doubled rate of death compared with those with waists under 31.5ins (80cm), and a similar statistic was found when women with waists over 39ins (99cm) were compared to those under 25.5ins (64.7cm).

An increase in risk of death could be plotted every time the belt was let out by another two inches – for two people with the same BMI, every additional 2ins (5cm) on their waistband added up to a 17% increase in risk for men, and 13% for women.

Calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared
Normal: 18.5 – 24.9
Overweight: 25 – 29.9
Obese: Above 30

Professor Elio Riboli, from Imperial College London, said: “We were surprised to see the waist size having such a powerful effect on people’s health and premature death.

“There aren’t many simple individual characteristics that can increase a person’s risk of premature death to this extent, independently from smoking and drinking.”

He added: “The good news is that you don’t need to take an expensive test and wait ages for the result to assess this aspect of your health – it costs virtually nothing to measure your hip and waist size.”

Fat message
The reason for the link is not entirely clear, but another researcher, Dr Tobias Pischon, from the German Institute of Human Nutrition at Potsdam-Rehbrucke, said that abdominal fat was not like other fat reserves, but could directly influence the development of chronic disease by releasing “messenger substances”.

A British Heart Foundation spokesman welcomed the findings, saying they supported previous research which found the risk of heart disease to be higher when fat was concentrated around the waist area.

“It is important a variety of measurements are used to assess body weight and shape. – as well as BMI (Body Mass Index), waist circumference and waist-hip ratio can help to provide a better assessment of health risk.

“If you tend to gather weight around your middle, increasing the amount of activity you do and watching what you eat will help to reduce your risk of heart disease and of dying early.”

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Aging, Diet / Weight Loss, Family Issues, Health Issues | 2 Comments

State Blocks Diwaniyas on State Land

I can understand the state not wanting to allow the people to build on public land, land reserved to preserve right of way, land reserved for parks, land to protect the ability to see around a corner. We watched all the illegal diwaniyas come down in our area, carted away on trucks, to be replaced with outdoor diwaniyas, which are lovely – but what to do when the temperatures start going up again?

Many of our friends have diwaniyyas – one – or more (!) built into their homes. An outdoor diwaniya is a luxury if you have the space for it. It looks to me like more homes are being built with a permanent diwayiya designed to match the house.

My real question is – How does this differ from the chalets? Are the chalets not also built on state property? Is there a bureau from which you get a permit? Is there any contractual understanding, like the land is deeded to you for 99 years before you put up an expensive chalet? Or do you build, knowing the government can reclaim that land at any time?

State succeeds in blocking diwaniyas bill
Al Watan staff

KUWAIT: The Parliament rejected a controversial draft law on Wednesday that called for regulating the construction of private diwaniyas on State property.

After a discussion, the proposal was overruled by a vote of 34 against and 26 in favor.

A number of MPs had presented the proposal, which was aimed at allowing the construction of private diwaniyas on State property adjacent to owners” homes provided that a license is obtained from the Ministry of Finance in exchange of an annual fee of no more than 0.250 Kuwaiti dinars per square meter.

Moreover, the Parliament also rejected a proposal to form a committee to investigate violations committed by the team tasked with removing all structures that have been illegally built on State property.

This proposal was voted down by 35 of the 61 legislators who were present at the session.
Earlier, the Parliament”s Finance and Economic Affairs Committee had rejected the draft law regulating the construction of private diwaniyas on State land, saying that it will have a negative impact regardless of the traditions related to these forms of gathering places.

It said the construction of these structures on State property will increase security, administrative and financial burdens on the State.

This issue was first discussed during Tuesday”s Parliament session, but a lack of order in the Abdullah AlـSalem Hall led to an adjournment of the session.

The Kuwaiti government had opposed the bill since the beginning, saying it bears many implementation difficulties and encourages encroachments on State property in a disorganized fashion.

Last updated on Thursday 13/11/2008

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Building, Community, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Political Issues | 3 Comments

Post Sunrise November 13, 2008

It’s a little chilly this morning and the Qatteri Cat is cuddled up next to me, right on my left typing arm, so I am pecking away as best I can. It’s another beautiful day – and, as forecasted, there are small, light, fluffy clouds gathering – and a 20% chance of rain tomorrow. Here is what this morning looks like in Kuwait:


Have a great day, Kuwait!

November 13, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatteri Cat, sunrise series, Weather | 3 Comments