london, Apr 2 (UNI) Are you normal weight? You too could be suffering from diabetes and heart disease.
According to a study people who are healthy were still obese because of the proportion of fat in their bodies. Experts say two thirds of the population are at risk because they weigh too much but the discovery of the new condition - dubbed "normal weight obesity" suggests that 8 in ten face an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Body fat percentage is a more precise way of determining health risks than body mass index.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, which has hospitals in three states, found that half of people in the range had a body fat percentage high enough to put their health at risk. To be healthy, women should be no more than 30 per cent fat and men no more than 20 per cent.
The team said that using body fat to determine normal weight obesity was a more precise way of determining health risks than BMI.
Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at Mayo, said: Using the term normal weight obesity is really a way of being more precise about obesity, because the real definition of obesity is excess body fat.
"The findings follow other research that discovered that hidden fat surrounding organs in the abdomen and often giving a beer belly or apple body shape, was a major risk factor for heart disease.
Doctors should measure belly size or do a body fat test instead of relying on BMI alone", Dr Lopez-Jimenez said.
UNI XC NC PM1300