Apple, pear, inverted triangle: is there a relationship between body shape and health? – 05/04/2022

Do you know those different types of human bodies, presented in fashion magazines and websites, with fruit names (pear, apple), geometric figures (rectangle, inverted triangle)? They are for you to learn about how to take advantage of shapes and sizes to dress. But, there’s more. In this report, Live wellwith the help of experts, will explain what is behind each one and how they influence our health, also revealing problems.

Doctors usually classify these models by genetic characteristics (height, bone structure, ease of gaining or losing weight), and modifiable physical ones, based on composition, muscle appearance, adipose tissue, arriving in three categories: “Ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph, each one has specific needs”, informs Roberto Ranzini, an orthopedist and sports doctor at the Albert Einstein and Oswaldo Cruz hospitals, in São Paulo.

THE ectomorph is related to a slim and rectangular body, with low muscle and fat volume. Already mesomorph it has to do with an athletic body, inverted triangle in men and triangular, or hourglass, in women.

Lastly, endomorph corresponds to an oval shape, which gains weight easily. But, it is possible that some characteristics of one or the other are shared with each other, although there is a predominance of one type over the other.

What’s behind each type?

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Image: iStock

In the case of the ectmomorph, which corresponds to tall, slender people with elongated limbs, flat chest, narrow hips, difficulty gaining weight, behind there is usually a very accelerated metabolism.

“With a good balance of muscle forces, they will have good trunk support, but, otherwise, they may have postural problems”, informs Guillermo Tierno, coordinator of the orthopedics service at Hospital Cárdio Pulmonar, in Salvador (BA).

Mesomorphs, on the other hand, thin but robust, with a well-developed body, without necessarily engaging in the gym, balance fast metabolism, with ease in acquiring muscle mass.

When you are a slightly overweight mesomorphic woman, with a pear body, that is, with wide but not defined hips and thighs, the acquired fat is of the gynoid type, which is less harmful than the visceral fat, related to diabetes and diseases. cardiovascular.

The last group, endomorph, concerns those whose metabolism is slow and the bone structure is large, and their stature may also be short. The body shape, similar to that of an apple, is usually noticeable in all family members and the accumulation of fat, of the android type, is centered in the abdomen, or mixed: abdominal and peripheral. Unlike gynoid fat, this is visceral —more harmful—, and is also prevalent in males.

Problems that can point

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Image: iStock

With regard to health problems in the ectomorph (rectangular) body type, they may be related to constitutional thinness, such as postural thinness, such as forward bending (kyphosis), or pathological weight loss, such as anorexia nervosa, anemia, depression, hormonal disorder (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, excess cortisol and cortisone due to malfunctioning of the adrenal glands above the kidneys, or infections and cancer.

Maria Fernanda Barca, PhD in endocrinology from FMUSP (Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo), points out that, even ectomorphs, you can also acquire visceral fat and develop a tummy.

“This person is the ‘fake skinny’, who by the action of metabolic syndrome can have insulin resistance, cholesterol changes, sodium retention, water retention, fat deposits in the arteries, increased pressure, suffering a heart attack and stroke” , explains Barca.

She continues that this concentrated fat can also be linked to stress, Cushing’s syndrome (in both cases, again, from excess cortisol) and menopause, which leads to a decline in hormones, particularly estrogen.

Mesomorphs, as well as endomorphs, are also subject to the effects of these problems and without any control over food, physical activities, those with mostly pear or oval shaped bodies can gain extra weight.

Excess abdominal fat added to muscle deficiency still leads to postural deviations, overload, mechanical stress, inflammatory processes and joint wear.

“The tallest and with the greatest weight have a high tendency to develop spine problems, especially in the lumbar. In endomorphs, there is an increased risk of injuries due to overload in the lower limbs, such as hips and knees”, informs the orthopedist Ranzini.

Can you change the formats?

No diet or physical training is able to change genetic determinations. However, anyone can lose weight and gain muscle, within their own limits, which vary from person to person, and with appropriate adjustments.

But this cannot be achieved alone, without consulting professionals. Being overweight, or very underweight, and having difficulties achieving the intended goals and symptoms, it is necessary to investigate the reasons.

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Image: iStock

Ectomorphs, because they have a more intense energy consumption, will require a greater amount of calories to gain weight, without worrying about gaining fat, which will be burned in exercises focused on large muscle groups.

“When you have a healthy lifestyle habit, you don’t accumulate abdominal fat, which will make the body acquire an inverted triangle shape, mesomorph, in which the shoulders are wider than the waist”, says Tierno.

But constitutional mesomorphs, in order not to gain weight, need to stay active and control their calorie intake. But not as intensely as endomorphs, who, in some cases, when they have already tried, without success, numerous food and exercise programs, end up having to resort to gastric bypass or bariatric surgery.

“They must seek a balance in everything, because visceral fat is inflamed and leads to various diseases”, concludes Barca.

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