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HHS HealthBeat (March 28, 2014)

Bigger bellies, shorter lives

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates people with more belly fat can expect to have shorter lives. The researchers looked at data on more than 650,000 men and women from 11 studies around the world.

From age 40, men with waists of 43 inches or more lived about three years less than men with waists of 35 inches or less. Women with waists of 37 inches or more lived about five years less than women with waists of 27 inches or less.

Researcher James Cerhan of the Mayo Clinic:

“Even losing some belly fat – and that’s usually through changes in diet and physical activity – will have important health benefits.”

The study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 28, 2014