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David Taylor asked...

My body mass index is 27, is this necessarily a problem?

Tags: diet , heart

Aged 74, I eat a healthy diet and take regular exercise walking and playing golf. I have fairly gaunt features and slender limbs but my body mass index is 27. I used to exercise with weights when I was younger and I do have some excess pectoral and waist fat. Is this necessarily a problem?

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The answer

A body mass index (BMI) does give some indication of your heart risks, but you're quite right to flag up the level of fat around your waist, as your waist circumference gives a more accurate indication than your BMI of your risks of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If you're exercising regularly, a significant amount of your weight should relate to muscle rather than fat, which is good news. However, it's worth getting your cholesterol and blood glucose checked and intra-abdominal fat, which is what makes a big waist so damaging, can make you prone to raised glucose and triglycerides, and low levels of HDL cholesterol, which helps protect you against heart disease.

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