You are getting wider even if you’re not getting fatter

lady measuring pelvis width over the yearsRemember the thrill of standing next to the door post and having your height recorded. Each year you inched a little higher, and everyone marvelled at your progress.

Of course, not all of us managed to progress to the clouds, but lucky for those of us who ended up a little vertically challenged, the shoe industry invented platform shoes, so we too can float on the clouds, propped up by those extra few centimetres underfoot.

Width measurement

No one measured how wide you were, well maybe in the latter years, the doctor has on occasion been interested in measuring the width around your belly. The measurement is seldom a celebration.

The waist circumference, is one measurement which hints at how much fat you have acquired round the middle. Too much is a sign of insulin resistance and a foreboding of all sorts of future health problems.

At 20 you’re supposed to stop growing

By the ripe old age of 20 – you are considered fully formed, but now science has discovered growth has not actually stopped. You won’t get any taller, but you will get wider, skeletally speaking.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina have discovered that the pelvis (hipbones) keep moving away from each other long after 20. In fact, they continue opening up, until you are swallowed up.

They measured the bones, not the blubber, of 40 people ranging in age from 20 to 79. Their results confirmed that the width of the pelvis, the width but not the height of L4 vertebral body, the distance between the femoral heads and the diameter of the femoral heads, all continued to enlarge after skeletal maturity.

You’re getting wider anyway

So face the facts ………with or without extra blubber, you will be wider at 40 than at 20, and wider still at 60 and widest in your 90s.

The slight increase in diameter, means it is perfectly normal to need to increase the size of the trousers that you purchase, as the decades move on.

So what kind of numbers are we talking about

Skeletally speaking, it is acceptable to see the waist increase by 3 inches (approx 7 cm) between 20 and 79. If you are 3 inches wider, you will also be a tad heavier. The kind of numbers that would track with the wider body, would be in the region of 1 pound (approx 450 g) a year.

So maybe its time to set up a chart measuring your width. Once a year, line yourself up with the dot and check out how wide you are around the hips.

Do not fret if the increase is marginal, but if the increase has been substantial – FRET ! It’s not bone, it’s fat.

Hip measurements alone don’t mean much. Waist circumference is the important one, the official red flag numbers for men is > 102 cm (40 inches), for ladies it is > 88 cm (35 inches).

If you are wider than you should be, make the commitment to do something about it.

Surprising evidence of pelvic growth (widening) after skeletal maturity. Journal of Orthopaedic Research (2011) Alexander A. Berger, Ryan May, Jordan B. Renner, Neal Viradia, Laurence E. Dahners.

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Further reading

apple shape
big thirst
alpha male hand
Being apple- or pear- shaped irrelevant when it comes to heart risk   Could your salt intake be making you fat ? How to determine if your man is an alpha male 

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..

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