Fact or Myth: Is a Pear-Shaped Body Healthier than an Apple-Shaped Body?

This is a MYTH.

Apple or pear shape – which one are you? Turns out, it doesn’t really matter. Whether you carry extra pounds in your abdominal area (apple-shape) or your booty (pear-shape) – you could have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Extra pounds are extra pounds, no matter where they end up.

Breakdown on Metabolic Syndrome

When the “perfect storm” of poor health conditions comes together, it often results in metabolic syndrome. The primary markers for this disorder are:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High LDL “bad” cholesterol
  • Low HDL “good” cholesterol

If you have one of these bio-markers, there is an increased risk – though not a certainty – that you will have others. Scientists and physicians are calling metabolic syndrome a public health crisis that requires immediate attention.

47 million U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome.
1 million U.S. teenagers between the ages of 12-19 have metabolic syndrome.

For years, research has pointed at the apple and pear shape to determine heart disease and diabetes risk. New studies are discovering that obesity is obesity…no matter where you carry it.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism recently published a study from UC Davis Health System. Researchers discovered that pear shaped bodies secrete proteins called chemerin that stimulate inflammation and insulin resistance. apple and pear shape

Elevated chemerin levels are linked to high blood pressure, low HDL “good” cholesterol, high LDL “bad” cholesterol, insulin resistance and high triglycerides.

Metabolic syndrome doubles your risk of developing heart disease and makes you five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Professor of pathology at UC Davis, Ishwarlal Jialal, explained, “Our research helps to dispel the myth that gluteal [butt] fat is ‘innocent.’ High chemerin levels correlated with four of the five characteristics of metabolic syndrome. It could also define high-risk obesity states. The good news is that with weight loss, you can reduce chemerin levels along with the risk for metabolic syndrome.”

Common Sense Tips

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • If you smoke…quit.
  • Eat foods high in fiber
  • Schedule a physical every year

We should no longer worry about whether we are apple or pear shape…we should be more focused on whether we are simply in shape.

Jialal continued, “I don’t think all overweight people are at risk for diabetes, sleep apnea and other conditions. There are high-risk people. If you have metabolic syndrome, you are high risk.”

Overcome Metabolic Syndrome with Food

  • Orange & Green Fruits and Vegetables – always an excellent choice to add to any nutrition plan because they tend to be high in fiber, vitamin- and mineral-rich and low in caloric content. Some of the best natural fat-burners are citrus (especially grapefruit), carrots, sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli and peppers. Make it your goal to add 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet every day.
  • Amino Acid Enriched Protein – increase your lean muscle mass with the help of amino acids found in high protein foods. The more lean muscle you have, the more fat your body burns. Lean proteins help you feel “full” longer and regulate sugar levels. Some examples of high protein foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol are fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel), low-fat dairy products, eggs, beans and skinless poultry.
  • Satisfying Whole Grains – increase your feeling of being “full” and provide long-lasting fuel for your body. Adding three servings of whole grains such as cereal, brown rice or oats to your daily diet decreases your risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 50%! The abundance of fiber will help your body absorb nutrients more efficiently and keep your digestive system running smoothly.

It is important to remember that body fat percentage and total body wellness are more important than exact numbers on the scale.

Love your body. Treat it well. Live longer. Live stronger.