Good Health Blog

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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Time to put on the tape measure

Gavin LeSueur - November 18, 2013

Being overweight is a significant risk factor for many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement every two years if you are aged under 40 years. If you are older than 40, you should have your weight checked annually

Your waist measurement compares closely with your body mass index (BMI), and is often seen as a better way of checking your risk of developing a chronic disease.

Measuring your waist circumference is a simple check to tell how much body fat you have and where it is placed around your body.  Where your fat is located can be an important sign of your risk of developing an ongoing health problem.

Regardless of your height or build, for most adults a waist measurement of greater than 94cm for men and 80cm for women is an indicator of the level of internal fat deposits which coat the heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas, and increase the risk of chronic disease.

How to measure your waist

1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.

2. Breathe out normally.

3. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.

4. Check your measurement.

Are these waist measurements suitable for everyone?

Waist measurements should only be used for adults to check their risk of developing a chronic disease. The waist measurements above are recommended for Caucasian men, and Caucasian and Asian women. Recommended waist measurements are yet to be determined for all ethnic groups. It is believed that they may be lower for Asian men.

Along with being overweight or obese, the following conditions will put you at greater risk for heart disease and other conditions:

Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
  • Low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose (sugar)
  • Family history of premature heart disease
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking

For people who are considered obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) or those who are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) and have two or more risk factors, it is recommended that you lose weight. Even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. People who are overweight, do not have a high waist measurement, and have fewer than two risk factors may need to prevent further weight gain rather than lose weight.

Talk to your doctor to see whether you are at an increased risk and whether you should lose weight. Your doctor will evaluate your BMI, waist measurement, and other risk factors for heart disease.

The good news is even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing those diseases.

Keeping your colon healthy

Gavin LeSueur - November 4, 2013

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon or bowel cancer, is the second most common type of internal cancer in Australians, with over 12 500 cases diagnosed every year

If detected early, up to 90 per cent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer will survive beyond five years. However, if the cancer is undetected until a later stage it becomes harder to treat, so survival rates become much lower.

Bowel cancer screening is part of a preventative protocol to detect early changes. This screening  is recommended for everyone from the age of 50 years and earlier in those with a family history of bowel cancer or familial polyps.  If you have a potential bowel cancer history in the family talk to your Doctor today.

Researchers believe that eating a healthy diet may help prevent as many as one third of all cancers
including bowel cancer. Although there is no one diet that can prevent bowel cancer, changing your
diet could help reduce your risk of cancer in general. It will also improve your overall health.
You can help to reduce your risk of bowel cancer by:
• Eating a healthy diet, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and only small amounts of
animal fat
• Eating moderate amounts of lean red meat as part of a mixed diet including carbohydrates
(breads and cereals), vegetables and fruit, and dairy products
• Eating limited amounts of processed meats
• Maintaining a healthy body weight
• Exercising regularly
• Not smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
Following this advice doesn’t mean that you will never get bowel cancer, but it can reduce your risk
and has other health benefits too.

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