Feeling Anxious? Blame the Size of Your Waistline!

by
Anna Mooney.

A new study from NAMS links waist/height ratio to anxiety in middle-aged women

Anxiety: top of our worry list

Anxiety is the third most common area of concern for our community, here at My Second Spring, so we particularly tuned in to news about this recent research from the North American Menopause Society.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, and more likely to affect middle-aged women than any other group. Although anxiety can be caused by many factors, this new study suggests that the amount of abdominal fat a woman has could increase her chances of developing anxiety.

Stress eating

Everyone is familiar with the term “stress eating” that, among other things, can lead to a thicker waistline. In this study of  5,580 middle-aged Latin American women (mean age: 49.7) the cause-and-effect relationship was flipped to determine if higher abdominal fat could increase a woman’s chances of developing anxiety.

And guess what? There is a clear link. The study found that those women with greater waistlines were significantly more likely to have anxiety.

Anxiety is a concern because it is linked to heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, respiratory disorders, and drug abuse, among other documented medical problems.

And the bad news? Well, research has shown that more women develop anxiety, or their anxiety increases, in midlife. It is thought to be another effect of the drop in oestrogen, which has a neuroprotective role.

The good news: our new Anxiety guide

The much better news? The Best Friend's Guide to Anxiety is on the way - a collaboration between Wellness coach Catherine O'Keeffe (wellnesswarrior.ie) and My Second Spring, it covers everything from the causes and the triggers of midlife anxiety to a whole range of calming strategies to help you move beyond. Out April 2018!

Menatime, here's some great tips from Catherine on her recent blog post on Anxiety for My Second Spring.

For research on menopause and healthy aging, visit www.menopause.org, the website of NAMs, North America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond.

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