Dr. Mark Tremblay (Director) has published two new papers in Health Reports which show an “adiposity metamorphosis” where waist circumferences, waist-hip ratios and waist-height ratios increase within body mass index categories over time and the change is associated with increased cardiometabolic health risk.

Citations details are below:

Margot Shields, Mark S. Tremblay, Sarah Connor Gorber, Ian Janssen (2012). Abdominal obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factors within body mass index categories. Health Reports, 23(2):1-9.

ABSTRACT: Background: Several organizations recommend the use of measures of abdominal obesity in conjunction with body mass index (BMI) to assess obesity-related health risk. Recent evidence suggests that waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) are increasing within BMI categories. This shift may have affected the usefulness of abdominal obesity measures. Data and methods: Data are from respondents aged 18 to 79 to the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Using logistic regression, this paper examines cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk factors in relation to WC, WHR and WHtR within BMI healthrisk categories. CVD risk factors considered include components of the metabolic syndrome. Results: Among men in the normal and overweight BMI categories, WHR and WHtR were positively associated with having at least two CVD risk factors. All three abdominal obesity measures were associated with increased odds of having at least two CVD risk factors among normal-weight
women. Abdominal obesity was not associated with CVD risk factors for people in obese class I. Interpretation: Among men and Women in the normal BMI category, measures of abdominal obesity are associated with increased odds of CVD risk factors. This underscores the importance of measuring and monitoring abdominal obesity in normal-weight men and women.

Margot Shields, Mark S. Tremblay, Sarah Connor Gorber, Ian Janssen (2012). Measures of abdominal obesity within body mass index categories, 1981 and 2007-2009. Health Reports, 23(2):1-6.

ABSTRACT: This article describes measures of abdominal obesity—waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio—within body mass index (BMI) categories, using data from two populationbased health surveys. Among normal-weight men, the percentages at increased/high health risk based on these three measures were not statistically different in 2007-2009 than in 1981. By contrast, among normal-weight women, increases were observed in the percentage at increased/high health risk based on each of the three measures. The percentage of overweight men at increased/high risk based on waist circumference rose from 49% in 1981 to 62%
in 2007-2009, and among overweight women, the percentage at increased/high risk rose for each of the th ree measures (64% to 93% for waist circumference, 22% to 51% for waist-to-hip ratio, and 68% to 87% for waist-to-height ratio). Although substantial percentages of men and women in obese class I were at increased/high health risk based on abdominal obesity measures in 1981, by 2007-2009, almost everyone in this BMI category was at increased/high risk.