A team led by Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, has been looking at data on 12,785 Americans over a 14 year period, relating body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) to mortality. To general astonishment they found the highest mortality among those with normal BMI but with a belly almost as wide as, or wider than, their hips. The mortality rate for this group of people with ‘love handles’ was higher even than for those who were actually obese.
I’ve been warning about ‘love handles’ for some time. I call them ‘anti-love handles’ because, as I explained in my book Have Great Sex, they convert a man’s testosterone to oestrogen. If you’re a man and find your sexual performance is waning then take a look at your waistline.
The healthy WHR for women was said to be 0.85 or less, and for men 0.90 or less. I took out a tape measure and was astonished to discover my WHR was 0.94, although I weigh 72kg and stand about 1.8 metres. So I’m exactly the kind of man they’re talking about. I need to get some more muscle onto my buttocks (and the rest of me), and less fat on my waist.
Regular readers will know I abandoned my high intensity training (HIT) for the summer when temperatures were regularly in the thirties out here in Spain. But I continued swimming and took up windsurfing. Not enough. (There’s an awful lot of just standing when you’re windsurfing.)
I’m setting a target of getting that ratio down to below 0.9 by the end of October. I’ll let you know how I get on. If you’d like to join me, click on ‘comments’ at the top of this blog.