Apple vs Pear: How Your Body Shape Impacts Your Health


Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes: short, tall, lean, muscular, big-boned, apple- or pear-shaped. Genes, lifestyle, and certain health conditions can all impact our body’s size and appearance. Because every person is unique, there is no one “perfect body” that everyone should strive for. What matters most is that you take care of your body by eating right, exercising, getting adequate sleep, and so on. Focusing on being the best you with healthy habits can help you maintain or reach what size is right for YOU.

Understanding differences in body shapes and composition can help give you some clues to your body’s health, risk factors, and priorities to maximize your health.

Apple Vs Pear

When you look at yourself in the mirror are you shaped more like an apple or a pear? An apple-shaped body carries more weight in their abdomen and pear-shaped bodies carry more weight around their hips and thighs. Each shape has different health concerns.

Apple shape: Increased risk for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, early heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Pear Shape: Varicose veins and orthopedic problems

The shape of your body is mainly influenced by your genes, however women who are post-menopause and individuals who smoke or consume higher amounts of alcohol are more likely to have higher amounts of abdominal fat.

Waist Size

Individuals with apple-shaped bodies tend to have higher risks for health problems, and the health risks increase as waist size grows. Risk goes up if waist size is greater than:

Women: 35 inches

Men: 40 inches

It’s simple to measure your waist size and all you need is a measuring tape. Here’s how to do it: Stand and wrap the measuring tape around your abdomen (directly on your skin). The measuring tape should be above your hip bones and level with your belly button. Take the measurement just after you exhale. This is a very simple, quick way to learn how your current shape is impacting your health risks.

The good news here is that even a small weight loss of 5-10% of your current body weight can help to lower your risk of disease no matter what your body shape is. While we cannot change our genes, we can change our habits by adopting a healthy eating plan and finding ways to get more active. Remember, YOUR healthy weight is what’s best for you…where you feel your best with lifestyle habits that are maintainable and enjoyable!

Your life. Your health. Take control.

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