Large waists raise risk of common diseases: doctors

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jun 21, 2017 - Page 3

A large waist can indicate abdominal obesity, which makes people 400 to 600 percent more prone to metabolic syndrome, the Taipei Department of Health said.

The department said its survey last year concerning awareness of metabolic syndrome showed that 90 percent of respondents are aware that having a large waist can indicate a higher risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and chronic metabolic diseases.

However, the survey showed that only 54.7 percent of men and 62.6 percent of women are aware of what size a healthy waist is, it said.

Regardless of height or build, the recommended maximum waist circumference for adults is 94cm for men and 80cm for women, according to the WHO.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of common conditions, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, Physician and Taipei Medical Association Primary Care Committee convener Chang Meng-Yuan (張孟源) said.

It increases risk of heart disease by 1.5 to 2.5 times, he said.

Taipei Department of Health Commissioner Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑) urged people to prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome by eating a healthy diet, exercising more, not smoking and reducing their alcohol intake.

People should also try to avoid stress and undergo regular health checks, he said.

People aged between 40 and 64 can use the National Health Insurance-funded Adult Preventive Care Service once every three years, while people aged 65 or older can make use of the service once per year, he said.