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Friday, September 29, 2023

From pear to hourglass – what your body shape can reveal about your future health

TAKE a look in the mirror – it turns out your body shape might reveal more about your future health prospects than you realise.

From pear right through to straight ruler, your shape can reveal a whole host of clues about your longevity and risk of killer illness.

Your body shape might reveal more about your future health prospects than you realise


Your body shape might reveal more about your future health prospects than you realise

For more than a century, doctors have known there are links between certain body shapes and an individual’s health prospects.

Much of what they have discovered isn’t fully understood: but the mounting evidence is clearer than ever.

It turns out how your body is proportioned and where fat sits can have different impacts on your organs.

It’s important to be and feel healthy, whatever your shape.

But knowing your body type and the health risks associated could be helpful for keeping you in tip top condition.

Being aware of potential issues, it means you can work on the areas you need to keep trim and strong.

Here, we look at five classic body types and what each indicates about a person’s health.


This is when people have bigger waists relative to their hips, creating a slight apple shape.

Amy Schumer, Oprah and Adele are all apple-shaped.

Women who have this body type are most at risk of health issues, compared to women with other shapes.

This is because abdominal obesity can be very dangerous.

Researchers from Oxford University found having bigger waists, and higher waist-to-hip and waist-to-height ratios left women 10-20 per cent more at risk of a heart attack.

Having more fat around the waist has also been linked to a raised risk of cancer and diabetes.


This is another classic shape for a woman, where fat is mostly around the thighs, hips and bottom.

Studies suggest people who are thin but carry a little extra weight on their hips and thighs have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Think Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian.

This is because the bottom and thighs are safer places to store fat on the body.

Scientists say that the hips and thighs act like a sponge that soaks up fat and stops it from travelling around the body to the heart and liver where it can cause disease.

Fat on the hips and bum is stored for months whereas belly fat, the most dangerous kind of fat, is released about two hours after a meal.

However, a newer study suggested being leaner is always better, even when it comes to the lower body.

If you are overweight, weight loss in any part –abdomen, leg or buttocks – is good for bringing down cholesterol, it said.

High levels of cholesterol can build up in the artery walls and reduce blood flow to the heart.

This increases the risk of a clot forming around the body and also coronary heart disease occurring.


The hourglass body type is where the hips and bust are wider than the waist.

Scarlett Johansson and Sofía Vergara are both considered to be ‘hourglass’.

It’s thought by many to be the most desirable body shape.

Some studies claim women with this type of body are less likely to be depressed, and are more fertile.

However, having an hourglass body shape means that when you gain weight, it is not concentrated in one area like apple-shaped or pear-shaped people.

That means weight gain can be hard to spot if you’re not regularly checking the scale. 

And if you become overweight you are at higher risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease as well.

Inverted triangle

An inverted triangle body type is broad at the shoulders and narrow at the hips.

People with the body shape usually have larger breasts.

Men and women with smaller body frames are at higher risk of osteoporosis, due to having less bone mass to draw from.

Osteoporosis is a condition which affects the bones, weakening them over time, meaning they are more likely to fracture.

There has been suggestions of a link between the inverted triangle shape, which a slim frame between shoulders and to the hips, and weakening bones.


Many slender celebrities have this body type, such as Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean all ruler-shaped people are skinny.

Anyone who has a fairly straight or column like figure can be considered ruler.

If you are an overweight ruler person, for example, you are not exempt from a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. 

According to experts at Penn Medicine, it can actually be harder to a ruler-shaped person to even realise they are overweight, as the weight is evenly distributed so they never look fat.

This can give you the same chance of developing health conditions, like diabetes, as any other type of body shape, they explained.

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