Your Neck Size Is Important to Your
Health

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Last updated July 12, 2016 (originally published July 23, 2013)

By A. Lee,  Featured Columnist




Your neck size is important.  While many of us by now know the
importance of our waist size as it relates to our health, few of
us know that the size of our necks is an even better predictor
than our waist size of our overall health.  

Your neck size can, for example, predict with uncanny accuracy
your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes and even your
chances of suffering a stroke. What is a normal neck size? How
do you know if your neck is too fat?  What can you do to
reduce your neck size to a normal range?

Why Is Neck Size As Important As Your Waist Size

The amount of fat you carry on your abdomen has been well-
established as a predictor of both your overall health and even
your life expectancy.
Waist size predicts your risk for heart
disease, diabetes and stroke better than other measures of your
health such as BMI.  

Now, scientists have found that neck size is an even more
accurate predictor of future health problems associated with
metabolic syndrome.

A landmark 2010 study conducted by the National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute,  which used  Boston University’s
Framingham Heart Study data, looked at the health profiles of
3,307 men and women to determine how neck size affected
their health.  The average neck size for men in the study was
40.5 centimeters (15.9 inches) and  34.2 centimeters for
women (13.46 inches).

The study found that having a fatter neck increases your risk
for
high systolic blood pressure (the top number in your blood
pressure reading), high triglycerides and lower levels of HDL,
the “good” cholesterol.  In men, fatter necks were also
associated  with higher diastolic blood pressure (the bottom
number in blood pressure readings).

In women, fatter necks raise your risk of having higher blood
sugar readings before you eat (fasting blood glucose).
In both men and women, fatter necks impaired the insulin
response to sugar, an impairment which in other studies has
been found to put you at higher risk for developing
diabetes.

Having a larger than normal neck size also puts you at greater
risk fro sleep apnea, the condition in which you wake up many
times during the night because you stop breathing.

In 1991, a study on 1,001 middle-aged men carried out by
doctors from the Osler Chest Unit of Churchill Hospital, Oxford,
UK, found that having a larger than normal neck is a better
predictor of whether you will have sleep apnea or heavy
snoring than any other factor, including overall obesity or
whether you smoke. Other studies have found that men with a
neck size larger than 17 inches and women with necks larger
than 16 inches are at greater risk fro sleep apnea.

What Is a Normal Neck Size?






























In many ways, neck size acts as a perfect proxy for your overall
size. Overweight people tend to have larger than normal necks.
Skinny people tend to have skinny necks.

Researchers have discovered in fact that simply measuring your
neck will give you an accurate assessment of whether you need
to lose weight.

What are the magic numbers? For men, a neck size under 37
centimeters (14.5 inches) is optimal. For women, a neck size
under 34 (13.38 inches) centimeters is best for your overall
health.

These were the neck size numbers recommended in a 2001
study by researchers from the Department of Family Medicine,
Faculty for Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,
Israel.

In fact, the Israeli doctors recommended that other doctors use
neck size as “ a simple and time-saving screening measure that
can be used to identify overweight and obese patients.”













































Related:
Normal Waist Size

Normal Waist Size for a Man

The Only Kind of Exercise That Reduces Your Waist

Foods That Shrink Your Waist

Ideal Weight for Women



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