Are you an
or a Pear?
Fruits Describing Body Shapes and Predispositions.
Have you ever considered the health
implications of being either an “apple” or a “pear?” If not, then it’s time to take a look at body shapes and
decide where yours may be taking you health wise. These body descriptions have taken a further turn recently and
have morphed into phrases like, “too much junk in your trunk” (pear-shaped) or “jelly belly”
Dr. Marie Savard in her book
Apples & Pears: The Body Shape Solution to Weight Loss and
Wellness says that health issues really boil down to where we store excess fat. She suggests that
excess fat stored mainly in the abdomen (the apple shape) is a negative hormone and chemical haven that can
increase the risk of serious health consequences, while excess fat in the lower part of the body (the pear shape)
may prove not as dangerous to overall health.
Savard presents it to us this way:
“Apple-shaped women—who gain weight around their middle—are more likely to develop disorders like heart disease,
diabetes and breast cancer. Pear-shaped women—who add pounds around their hips, buttocks and thighs—are more
susceptible to problems like osteoporosis."
So how can you choose between being an
apple or a pear? Looking in a mirror should answer it for you, but if you aren’t sure then
get your tape measure and check your waist-to-hip ratio or WHR.
Start by measuring around the
narrowest part of your waist to ascertain your waist circumference. Then measure around your hips—about three or
four inches below your pelvis bone. Divide your waist circumference by your hip measurement to get your
waist-to-hip ratio, or WHR. A WHR higher than 0.80 means you are apple-shaped. If your WHR is 0.8 or less, your
body can be classified as pear-shaped.
Excess body fat is a health hazard –
everyone is aware of that, but even more threatening can be the location of the fat—with belly fat being high as a
risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In a study found in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that the fat deposited around organs (belly fat) and
between muscles was directly connected to the amount of hard, calcified plaque present in the body. Calcified
plaque can pave the way to atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of arteries, and can lead to heart disease just
in case you didn’t know. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women next to cancer.
Those people who are apple-shaped are also more likely to develop diabetes—since belly fat reduces the body’s
sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that helps maintain normal blood-sugar levels.
So whether you are a pear or an apple,
the fact is that the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes can increase with every unhealthy inch added to
a person’s midsection. Losing a few pounds is fantastic for looking better, but losing a few inches from your waist increases your longevity which is even
Here’s to losing that “jelly