More than half of British and American girls are considered 'overfat'

British and American girls have dangerous levels of stomach fat [Photo: istock]

We’re all about the body positive here at Yahoo Style and that means encouraging people to love their bodies no matter their size or body shape.

But when weight creeps excessively high or drops dangerously low, well that’s a slightly different story.

Which is why some new research has us somewhat concerned.

The study, led by Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, revealed that British and American girls are the worst in the world for carrying a dangerous amount of stomach fat.

More than half of girls in both countries have a stomach fat level that increases their risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

According to the study, which ranks countries by weight, the girls are considered ‘overfat’, meaning they carry too much body fat and that their waist measurement is more than half their height.

But girls aren’t the only ones at risk because just under half of boys are also considered to be carrying too much fat. And more than eight in 10 British adults also fall into the ‘overfat’ category.

Collaborating with researchers in San Diego, the team previously reported in the journal Frontiers of Public Health that up to 76% of the world’s population may be ‘overfat’.

But now the same researchers have focused their efforts on data from 30 of the top developed countries, with even more worrying findings that up to 90% of adult males and 50% of children may be ‘overfat’.

They also found that, in the top ‘overfat’ countries, 80% of women fall into this category.

“The prevalence of ‘overfat’ populations in 30 of the world’s most developed countries is substantially higher than recent global estimations, with the largest growth due to a relatively recent increased number of people with excess abdominal fat,” Professor Paul Laursen, of Auckland University of Technology, who led the study states.

“Abdominal ‘overfat’ is the most unhealthy form of this condition, so it is concerning that average waist circumference measures, generally indicative of abdominal ‘overfat’, have increased,” he continues.

“Despite a levelling off appearance of being overweight and/or obese in some developed countries, the ‘overfat’ pandemic continues to grow.”

The UK has one of the highest levels of people considered ‘overfat’ [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]

Researchers said that the traditional ways of assessing weight-related issues, such as stepping on a scale or calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) aren’t effective when determining whether someone is ‘overfat.’

Instead they recommend measuring your waistline at the belly button and comparing it to your height. The waist measure should be less than half your height.

“Regardless of BMI values, ‘overfat’ individuals have excess body fat, a high degree of cardiometabolic dysregulation that can promote disease risk factors and chronic disease, increased morbidity and mortality, reduced quality of life, and pose a rising economic burden,” Professor Laursen continued.

Researchers are calling for Government’s across the world to address the issue.

“As an unfulfilled public health action, it is crucial to clinically identify individuals who are ‘overfat’ in order to implement successful treatment and prevention strategies.”

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for non-stop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyleUK.

Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

Pregnant women who believe the ‘eating for two’ myth could be putting their health at risk

Believe it or not, overexercising can put your health at risk

Why this woman wants to encourage everyone to screw the sizing