Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Apples and Pears - the Difference Really Matters

People's body shape can be classified as being an apple or a pear. Apple people, apart from buying expensive phones, carry excess weight around their abdomen, making them round, like an apple. Pear shaped people carry any excess weight a bit lower, around their hips. And why does this matter?

Because carrying excess weight around the abdomen is linked to an increased risk of kidney disease, a recent study suggests.

It was already known that being apple-shaped, as opposed to pear-shaped, added to the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. The new research, in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, found signs of kidney problems in even otherwise healthy apple-shaped people.

The study, by a team at the University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands, examined 315 healthy individuals with an average BMI of 24.9 kg/m2 (normal weight range BMI 18.5–24.9 kg/m2) and found people with apple-shaped bodies tended to have lower kidney function, lower kidney blood flow, and higher blood pressure within the kidneys than people with pear-shaped bodies –even after adjusting for sex, age, mean arterial pressure, and BMI. They looked at the waist to hip measurement ratio as a way of quantifying a person's body shape.

High blood pressure in the kidneys of people with apple-shaped bodies may be responsible for their increased risk of developing kidney disease later in life.

So, what shape are you in? Would a bit of exercise and diet be a good idea?