How an Apple Can Define Obesity: Know Your Body Shape

Dr. Pradeep Chowbey, Executive Vice Chairman, Max Healthcare  |  Updated: March 21, 2017 16:07 IST

How an Apple Can Define Obesity: Know Your Body Shape
  • The unhealthy "apple-shaped" obesity in metabolic syndrome is deadly
  • It describes the accumulation of fat around the mid portion
  • Metabolic syndrome is quite common amongst Asians and Indians
While growing up, we have all heard the common saying, "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away". Now, this miraculous fruit is cited to describe the unhealthy "apple-shaped" obesity in metabolic syndrome. The term 'syndrome' describes a cluster of abnormal clinical and biochemical findings, bunched together to define a medical condition. Metabolic syndrome, which is also called Syndrome X, encompasses increased sugar levels, high blood pressure, abnormally lipids fractions and even fatty infiltration in the liver with the central apple-shaped obesity. The accumulation of fat around the mid portion, enlarging the girth, is now recognized as a potentially serious condition with long term effects. In this abnormal abdominal fat structure resides the factor leading to insulin resistance - a condition that is more commonly known as diabetes.

Although factors such as genes, ageing, diet, disrupted sleep and sedentary lifestyle are some of the contributing factors leading to obesity. However, stress and low-grade chronic sub-clinical inflammation in the body can significantly ignite them all. In fact, the mismatch between our diet, activity levels and biochemical make-up are leading to steady weight gain.

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A person's body type is mostly described by the shape of the two fruits - apple and pear. The apple shape is more worrisome because it represents abdominal obesity, where fat is deposited around the stomach and abdomen. All references to "pot belly" or "beer belly" belong to this category, and such people are at greater risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. The pear shape, on the other hand, describes a body type with a slim waist, but fat deposition on the lower half - hips and butts. The apple type - with accumulation of visceral fat around the waist and trunk - is the culprit of various diseases, while fat around the hips and buttock area is relatively benign.


Metabolic syndrome requires an immediate attention to prevent the risks of harmful diseases, which is quite simple to begin with. Even before the rise of blood pressure or blood sugar levels, an individual must initiate healthy lifestyle changes. Here are some pointers, which are very crucial -

  • Increase physical activities while leaving aside TV screens and executive chairs
  • It is quite obvious that you can't change the genes that you were born with, but you can definitely jump into training shorts
  • By losing few kilos, you can reduce your blood pressure and sugar medication while also cutting the risk of developing heart attacks and strokes
  • By adopting exercise and controlled eating habits, you can keep metabolic syndromes and further complications at bay

Unfortunately, metabolic syndrome is quite common amongst Asians and Indians, which makes this a genetically triggered lifestyle disorder and needs immediate preventive measure. If you procrastinate and keep thinking "all is well" then soon your blood reports can get abnormal and Adam's forbidden apple will come to take shape in your personality. It's time to start making a change!



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