Obesity prevention commonly focuses on BMI, which can't distinguish body shape or body fat distribution. The high abdominal fat distribution that is central obesity is common in the general population.
‘Normal-weight central obesity in women was associated with an increased risk of death that was comparable to that of women with obesity (BMI equal to or greater than 30) and central obesity. ’
This observational study examined the associations of normal-weight central obesity with risk of death using data from nearly 157,000 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative between 1993 and 1998.
Limitations of the study include its focus on postmenopausal women so the findings may not be broadly generalizable to younger women or men.
The study authors suggest that normal-weight central obesity in women may be an underrecognized high-risk subpopulation and that the prevention and control of central obesity should be included in clinical and public health guidelines, even for individuals of normal weight.
Authors: Wei Bao, M.D., Ph.D., University of Iowa, Iowa City, and coauthors
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