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How a piece of string can tell you if you're too fat

   
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Experts have revealed a way to instantly tell if you are storing too much fat around your middle - using only a piece of string.   Dr Margaret Atwell demonstrates the simple test on the BBC show The Truth About Obesity, explaining how to start by cutting a piece of string to the length of your height. Next, she said, fold that piece of string in half and wrap it around your middle.  If you're struggling to make the two ends of the string meet, your visceral fat level is too high.  Too much visceral fat puts you at a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease - and can take up to a decade off your life expectancy.   But it's not just the obviously overweight who are at risk, as even people with a so-called healthy weight can be at risk of health problems. Share this article Share Visceral fat is the dangerous fat that wraps around your organs, like your pancreas and liver, raising your risk of major health problems. HOW TO DO THE STRING TEST  Measure a piece of string from your heel to the top of your headFold it in half and wrap it around your waistIf the two ends of the string don't meet, you're storing too much visceral fat  And it's not just the obviously overweight who are at risk, as people with a healthy body mass index (BMI) can still carry too much visceral fat.. By measuring your height to waist ratio, you can get a good indication of the level of visceral fat you are carrying.According to Doctor Margaret Ashwell, this is a more accurate way of seeing how healthy you are than calculating your body mass index.Speaking in the show, she says: 'BMI doesn't measure fat distribution. The best way of explaining it is think of a great hunky rugby player, they might have the same BMI as a chubby darts player.WHAT IS VISCERAL FAT? Visceral fat is stored in your middle around your organs.It is meant to ensure that there is some distance between each organ. It is sometimes referred to as 'active fat' because research has shown that this type of fat affects how our hormones function.Storing higher amounts of visceral fat is associated with a range of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure and a raised risk of heart disease.'The rugby player might have more muscle than fat, where as a dart player is going to have more fat than muscle.' In fact people with healthy BMIs can also have high visceral fat levels, as 25% of people with a normal BMI score fail the string test.The show's presenter Chris Bavin, 38, tries out the string test on camera, and discovers the he cannot make the ends of the string meet around his middle.Admitting that he has gained weight as he got older, and is finding it harder to lose, he says it's 'a wake-up call'.Chris called the result a 'wake up call'. Dr Ashwell says getting rid of visceral fat is simply a case of exercising and eating well. Losing just five per cent of body fat will cut the visceral fat down drastically. The documentary explores why so many people in the UK are obese, and questi

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