The Checkup: Beer Belly More Dangerous Than Being Obese, Study Says

Just because your BMI puts you outside the obese range doesn't mean you're out of the woods.

• Happy with your BMI? Unfortunately, it might not tell the whole story. Body shape and how you carry fat matter, a new study from the Mayo Clinic suggests, with belly fat significantly upping your chances for serious health problems, even if your BMI falls within the normal range. The study, which looked at 12,000 U.S. subjects, found that apple-shaped people (those with high waist-to-hip ratios) with normal BMIs were more likely to die from any cause than all other subjects—even those who were obese. When compared to those with normal BMIs and healthy hip-to-waist ratios, the big-bellied subjects were 2.75 times more likely to die from heart disease. Of course, your risk depends on the kind of fat you carry. The super dangerous kind, the study notes, is visceral fat, deep belly fat that’s under the abdominal muscles and accumulates around the organs; subcutaneous belly fat, the squishy stuff right under the skin, is less dangerous. Reports “[Visceral fat] doesn’t jiggle when you walk, and it’s more dangerous because it’s associated with an increased risk of a number of health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, and some cancers.”

• I absolutely love this: A surgeon, stuck in traffic, hopped on a child’s bike (borrowed, of course) and pedaled to the hospital on a hot pink Schwinn so she wouldn’t miss her surgery. And yes, she wore a princess-themed pink helmet, too. Read the whole story over at Outpatient Surgery Magazine.

• At the risk of sounding like a broken record, here’s yet another reason you should lay off soda: In pregnant women, consumption of sugary drinks has been linked with premature birth. Read more.