Bigger belly, shorter life

A review of existing studies has further strengthened the link between a larger waistline and an earlier grave.

After analysing data from 11 international studies encompassing 600,000 people, Researchers from The Mayo Clinic concluded that individuals with large waist circumferences had a higher risk of dying younger and suffering from conditions such as cancer, heart disease and lung problems.

A waist measurement of 43 inches or more in men equated to a three-year lower life expectancy after the age of 40 than men with waists smaller than 35 inches. Women with waists of 37 inches or more had a five-year lower life expectancy after the age of 40 than women with waists smaller than 27 inches.

The study found that for every extra two inches the tape measure stretched, the risk of death increased by seven per cent in men and nine per cent in women.

Lead study author Dr James Cerhan, an epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic, said: ‘The primary goal should be preventing both a high BMI and a large waist circumference. For those patients who have a large waist, trimming down even a few inches – through exercise and diet – could have important health benefits.’

Source: Mayo Clinic Proceedings