Sunday, December 10, 2006

Get scanned to know your health risks!

BBC News - A scan can spot which people harbour dangerous levels of fat around their vital internal organs, scientists say.

Hammersmith Hospital, in west London, is currently the only hospital in Europe using the MRI scan.

Its scientists say 40% of the population has
“bad” fat around the heart, liver or pancreas, even though many appear thin.
They warn it is possible to be slim and yet still be at risk of conditions like diabetes because of "hidden" fat.

Evidence suggests the precise location of fat has more of a bearing on health than simply being overweight.

For example, people who have too much weight around their middle, often called an "apple" shape, have a greater risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes than those who are pear shaped and carry the weight around the hips.

While doctors can check whether a person is a healthy weight for their height by calculating their body mass index or BMI (weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared), they cannot see the dangerous hidden fat

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