By maintaining a healthy weight, you can best ensure your long-term health. Here are three ways to watch your weight:
1. Check your Body Mass Index number (body weight adjusted for height). A BMI of more than 25 significantly increases your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
2. Watch for weight gain after your early 20s. Middle-aged men and women who gained between 11 and 22 pounds after age 20 were three times more likely than people who gained 5 pounds or less to develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and gallstones.
3. Tuck in that bulge. Fat that collects around your waist and chest may pose a greater health problem than fat around the hips and thighs. Abdominal fat has been linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and heart disease. Healthy waist measurements are less than 40 inches for men and less than 35 inches for women.
(Source: Aetna Intelihealth, featuring Harvard Medical School’s Consumer Health Information.)