A recent study says that 9 easily measurable factors are sure predictors of risk of heart attack. They are:“abnormal cholesterol, current smoking, abdominal obesity, depression and stress, high blood pressure and diabetes”, surprise, surprise. But I had to keep looking because this business of “abdominal obesity” keeps coming up, as opposed to general obesity. Further research led me to see that abdominal weight is associated with insulin resistance, which is the precursor to diabetes. I keep wondering why one person gets it in the middle and another gets it all over. Then I saw another report that tried to demonstrate a link between early childhood weight and later insulin resistance (which seems to be the trigger for the heavy middle). So then I found a report from Tufts University that said danger levels of middle-area fat (which they think may metabolize differently than other fat) can be predicted by the waist-hip ratio (divide your waist by your hip measurement). For men anything over 1.0 is risky and for women it’s .8. And another study showed that the insulin-resistance involved in middle fat contributes to greater risks of breast cancer in older women. Happily, in case you needed another reason to start exercising, a further study indicates that exercise, all by itself, can reduce the negative effects of that middle part, even if you don’t lose much or even any weight.