Obesity and large waist size are the kiss of death, according to a 10-year study of more than 20,000 people conducted in Holland. Researchers concluded that a high body mass index (proportion of weight to height) and obesity accurately predicted the risk of dying or developing heart disease. Waist sizes greater than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women were strong indicators of poor metabolic health and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
A large waist size is also linked to erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive, elevated blood fats, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Aerobic exercise is effective for decreasing abdominal fat and waist circumference. (European Journal Cardiovascular Prevention Rehabilitation, 16: 729-734)