Large Neck Size Equals Big Metabolic Problems

Large Neck Size Equals Big Metabolic Problems:

A bulging stomach is widely accepted as a sign of poor metabolic health. A recent study published in the August Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (95:3701, 2010), finds a chubby neck is likely to hold even a worse prognosis for metabolic health.

The research team evaluated the relationship between waist circumference and neck circumference with levels of blood sugar, good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides, and insulin resistance, as well as blood pressure. What was found was that neck circumference was a better predictor than waist circumference of elevated blood pressure, LDL, triglycerides and insulin resistance, with lower levels of HDL. All this amounts to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease as neck size increases. As an example, an increase in neck circumference of about one inch is expected to result in a 2.5 point rise in blood pressure.

The authors point out that the neck circumference was a more accurate predictor of cardiovascular risk in women than men. The average neck size for men in this study was about 16 inches (40.5 cm) and about 13.7 inches for women (34 cm).

Alfred Hitchcock, the famous director of suspense movies, made a trademark of his corpulent silhouette with bulging chin and abdomen. Thanks to this research we know his silhouette can signify more than a movie that will thrill you but also a metabolism that will kill you.

Gary Pepper, M.D.

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  • Tony Kingkade

    Dr. Pepper,

    You and I can just look at these patients and predict their labs. And we will be right 90% of the time. It’s sad, but true that their bad choices give us total job security.

    Mostly all of this is preventable or reversible. But not with our current political climate of “it’s not your fault”.

    Basically, we (really “they”) are doomed.

    My wife and I in our mid 50’s are doing what we can to prevent all of this sickness. That might mean doing “boot camp” classes with kids younger than ours and beating them from time to time. But the positive metabolic effects are huge. Increased insulin senstiviy, accelerated fat burning, increased cardiac output, increased muscle mass/tone, huge increases in ADL….you get this.

    It’s not rocket science. Just do it. Why does America think they are better off letting someone else decicide their future?

    It’s up to you to decide the quality and logevitity of your life.


  • Tony,
    Great comment! For many, it does just boil down to the simple phrase “Just Do It!”. Thinking too much about something wastes energy and takes longer than “Just Doing It!”. It’s a specific mindset and intention and I do believe it is something that we can teach others. Be patient!

  • lynn

    I definitely have a CHUBBY neck…and all the stuff to go along with it….elveated lipids and Insulin, overweight. I also have Hashimotos, Fibrmyalgia , CFS and sleep apnea which makes exercises almost impossible….any suggestions?

  • Nelson Franks

    Over the past half year my weight increased by 40 lbs and my neck size shot up to 18″. I try to get moderate exercise and have restricted daily caloric intake to around 1000 Cal for the past month with very little result. This change in physique has been sudden and seemingly unresponsive to care. While my doctor has run blood tests, his usual pat response is to just keep exercising and dieting.
    The admonishment “just do it” is not only insulting but angering.

  • Mr. Franks, By eating so FEW calories you have put your body into a starvation mode. As a result your weight will go up, and muscle will be repaced by fat. As rule of thumb- your caloric in take shopuld be 10x your weight. (a 200 lb person should eat 2,000 calories a day). Logically, these 2,000 calories should come from whole foods in a balanced diet. (Avoid food high in sugar, cola (even diet cola), fried foods, keep it natural!) Another intresting fact: Some low-fat and “diet” labled food may cause you to gain weight because they are made up of starchy or sugary carbohydrates. So keep in mind a low-carbohydrate diet leads to more weight loss than a low-fat diet. (Once more-these are health carb choices!)
    You can find good dietary information at Calorie King , along with nutritional information an exercise chart will give you suggestion of what it take to burn off unwanted calories.
    Good Luck, Becky

  • Great educational info. I’ve never heard this before…You got me measuring my neck! Thanks!