A few weeks ago, my wife and I watched The Truth about Obesity on CBC. Dr. Margaret Ashwell, a Senior Research Scientist with the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom, proposed a simple test for obesity. You take a piece of string and cut it to match your height. Then, you fold that string in half and wrap it around your waist. The string ends should touch. If not, you have an unhealthy amount of abdominal fat surrounding your organs. If you do not want to cut a piece of string, please click here for a waist-to-height calculator. To watch a video about how to do the string test, please click here.
After the documentary, we tried the String Test. My wife had no problems. She passed with flying colours! However, the ends barely met for me! I could not believe it. I have read that when you eat a whole-food, plant-based diet, you do not have to worry about your weight. My body mass index (BMI) was less than 25 (in the healthy range) after adopting a plant-based diet. However, the circumference of my waist was barely less than half of my height, an indicator of too much body fat.
This means that I have central fat. Subcutaneous fat is different that central fat. Subcutaneous fat is found under the skin. Central fat surrounds organs like the liver, pancreas, and other tissues. The risk of death is associated with higher amounts of central fat.
Even though I barely passed the String Test, I do not want to be so close to the cut-off. Since then, I have decreased my nut intake by half and stopped eating peanut butter. As hard as it is, I am glad I came across this information. I retried the same test a few days ago. The result was a BMI=22.3 and no change to my waist and height ratio! This article states that I need to increase exercise in my life to improve my ratio. Stay tuned as I try this next lifehack to reduce my central fat stores! Thanks for reading. #lifestylemedicine