Men’s Health Week: watch your waistline – belly fat is a danger

Monday, 12 June 2017 – Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement
Men’s Health Week: watch your waistline – belly fat is a danger

The dangers of belly fat are being highlighted during Men’s Health Week (12-18 June) as the Public Health Agency (PHA) encourages men to think about the size of their waistline.

Having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man can put you at greater risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Caroline Bloomfield, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Senior Manager at the PHA, said: “Whether you’re a man or a woman, your health could be at greater risk if you’re storing a lot of fat around your waist.

“We store excess body fat under the skin but also around our vital organs in the abdomen and having a large amount of belly fat, regardless of your overall weight, could make you more likely to develop serious health problems.

“An important step in recognising if you’re at risk is measuring your waistline, however, many people don’t measure their waistline correctly as they’re unsure of where it actually is.

“It’s not about the size of your trousers, it’s the distance around your abdomen at roughly the halfway point between the bottom of your ribs and top of your hips – the bellybutton can be used as a good point to do it from.”

Follow these steps to help you measure your waist correctly:

  1. Get hold of a standard tape measure
  2. Stand up straight and breathe out naturally
  3. Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips
  4. Your waist is halfway between the two
  5. Keep the tape measure snug around your waist and write down the result.

“Measuring up is just the start,” Caroline continued. “Once you know your waist measurement it’s time to shift that excess weight through a combination of eating healthier and getting more physically active.

“All you need to know about both can be found  at www.choosetolivebetter.com where there is also a video guide to measuring your waist correctly, setting yourself realistic goals and recipes to get you started on cooking more healthily and shifting the belly fat.”

 

Notes to the editor

  • Men’s Health Week runs from 12-18 June with the focus on recognising the dangers of belly fat.
  • Stats from the 2015-16 Northern Ireland Health Survey show that males (65%) were more likely than females (57%) to be overweight or obese.
  • The NI Health Survey 2015-16 can be found at https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/health/hsni-first-results-15-16.pdf
  • The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for physical activity outline that adults should aim to be active daily and minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least five days a week.
  • Having a waistline of 37 inches or more for men can put them at greater risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.  For women, it is a waistline of 32 inches or more.