Being a healthy weight may not be as important as where you carry fat on your body when it comes to future health risks, a new study has found.
If your tummy is your problem area, you may be 2.75 times more likely to die from heart disease than if you were obese.
The new research has shown that having a low BMI does not guarantee being at a low risk of heart disease, as those of us with ‘central obesity’ i.e. if you carry your weight around your middle, were shown to be at greater risk of health problems.
Visceral fat, which is fat that sits around the organs of your abdomen, has been proven to be very damaging to your heart.
A study following 12,785 adults over 14 years showed that participants with a normal BMI, but a high hip to waist ratio had the highest risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Worringly, it was not just heart disease – as this group of people were also at a 2.08 times higher risk of dying from any cause.
"The high risk of death may be related to a higher visceral fat accumulation in this group, which is associated with insulin resistance and other risk factors," said study researcher Dr. Karine Sahakyan, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.