Women in Taiwan have seen their waistlines expand over the past five years, which could be bad news for the health of their hearts, the Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Promotion said on Sunday.
In a recent study, the bureau found that the waistlines of Taiwanese women averaged 79.4cm last month, up 3.6cm the last time a similar study was conducted five years ago.
Conducted by Taipei’s Mackay Memorial Hospital on behalf of the bureau, the study also found that 41.9 percent of Taiwanese women had waistlines bigger than 80cm, a sharp rise from the 28.1 percent with big waistlines in 2006, said Huang Li-chin (黃麗卿), a family medicine doctor at Mackay Memorial.
Because weight and waistlines are heart disease risk factors, the bureau launched the survey in 2006.
It checked 4,500 people, male and female, aged between 16 and 70, to study the relationship -between obesity and the combination of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
This year’s survey also found that the waistlines of Taiwanese men had increased by an average of 2.9cm over the past five years to 87.6cm and the percentage of men with waistlines bigger than 90cm increased to 36.6 percent from 27.7 percent in 2006.
“Women aged between 45 and 50 have seen their waistlines expand and metabolic problems increase at rates faster than men,” Huang said.
Meanwhile, bureau Director-General Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) said that as of Monday last week, measuring waistlines had been included in adult heath checkups.
She said people should take steps to prevent metabolic diseases and keep their waistlines from expanding to maintain healthy hearts.
“Controlling food ingestion and getting exercise are the two best ways to free oneself from the shackles of obesity and bulging stomachs,” Chiou said.