What can your body type tell you about your health?

Finding out whether you're an apple, pear or banana body shape could help you to choose flattering clothes and can even be beneficial when selecting the most effective workout to hone your legs or tone your upper body. But did you ever stop to think that identifying your body shape could have more of an impact on your health? According to two new studies, working out your body shape could help you to improve your health and make better choices when it comes to food.

The idea of body shape is really all about where you store your fat. Whilst 'pear' shapes store fat in their butt, thighs and hips, those who are 'apple' shaped store fat in their upper body, in particular around the tummy. 'Banana' shapes have more athletic figures, with fat equally distributed throughout the  body. So identifying your body shape and your fat storage pattern could help you to discover which health problems you are most at risk of developing and could also aid in the development of healthier eating habits - win win!

Apple body shape

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those with apple body types could be prone to binging (1). The study revealed that women who stored fat around their midsection were also the most likely to comfort eat and binge on junk food. It also appeared to be a vicious cycle, meaning that the more the women gave in to their cravings and binged, the more fat they tended to store and the more they felt the need to binge eat.

Image credit: missbudgetbeauty.co.uk

What you can do

Realising that you could be prone to binging can help you to control your cravings before they get out of control. Getting plenty of sleep and minimising stress can stop you reaching for comfort food and help you to make healthier food choices. Avoid buying 'trigger' foods, such as crisps and chocolate, on your weekly shop and keep them out of the house altogether. Try keeping a food journal so that you can identify your eating patterns, and always fill up on healthy food before enjoying a treat.

Banana body shape

Women with 'banana' or 'string bean' body shapes may be equally as at risk of developing cancer and diabetes as women who are overweight - skinny doesn't necessarily mean healthy, you know! A study carried out earlier this year revealed that swapping fresh produce for junk food led to an increased risk of diabetes and cancer, even if no weight was gained (2).

Image credit: missbudgetbeauty.co.uk

What you can do

Even if you don't notice any side-effects from eating junk food (such as weight gain), you should still try to swap junk and processed food for healthier options wherever possible. Try some popcorn or nuts instead of crisps and enjoy fruit or even home-made energy bites instead of chocolate. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is a good idea too.

Pear body shape

Women who are 'pear' shaped could be at increased risk of metabolic syndrome, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (3). Studies carried out previously suggested that fat stored in the butt, thighs and hips was protective fat (4), but this new research has revealed that buttock fat can increase levels of omentin-1 and chemerin, two proteins which can cause insulin resistance and inflammation, seriously bad news for your health!

Image credit: missbudgetbeauty.co.uk

What you can do

There's nothing wrong with being proud of your bootylicious butt, but if you carry most of your weight in your posterior, you might need to work harder than most people to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Getting enough exercise, cutting out junk food and avoiding refined sugar is a good place to start!

READ THIS NEXT: Love your body with these positive morning mantras

Works cited:

  1. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/du-haa111215.php

  2. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150428/ncomms7342/full/ncomms7342.html

  3. http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/7365

  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20065965

Author By Paula Beaton
Date On 23rd Nov 2015 at 14:14

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