Health, Diet, Fitness and Weight Loss Blog
The Simply Fit Diet
Shrinking Leg Syndrome Explained

Millions of Americans suffer from
“shrinking leg syndrome” and its most
common symptom,  shopping for pants
with a shorter inseam.  Shrinking leg
syndrome is easily explained.  Sixty-nine
percent of Americans are overweight or
obese (
1).  For a fit person, the natural
waist is around the level of the belly
button.  However, most Americans are
not fit.  They compensate for their
expanding bellies by wearing their pants
under their gut.  Looking at a diagram of
Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man
alongside the average American man is
instructive.  The dotted line shows the
natural waist (figure 1).  The average
American man compensates for his
bloated belly by wearing his pants lower
on the hips leading to a shorter inseam
as his belly grows.  The phenomenon is
widespread.  Although the average
American man has a 40" waist and the
average American woman has a 37.5"
waist (
2), the most common size pants
sold have a 34" waist (
3).  A lot of pants
are being worn below the belly.











Although “shrinking leg syndrome”
sounds cute, it is a major health issue.  
Scientists say the most dangerous fat is
belly fat (
4).  Abdominal obesity
increases your chances of
cardiovascular disease, hypertension,
cancer, osteoporosis, stroke and
dementia (
5).  However, shrinking leg
syndrome can be reversed.  I admit that I
suffered from shrinking leg syndrome.  I
don’t know if I was in denial or just not
very bright, but I could not figure out why
pants that formerly fit began dragging the
ground and I was shopping for a 29"
inseam.”  However, after following
The
Simply Fit Diet, I have returned to the
size pants I wore in college. Diet and
exercise can reverse shrinking leg
syndrome and lower the risk of major
health issues.



Footnotes:


-------------


1. Faststats: Overweight and Obesity,  Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, 2014,
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-
overweight.htm

2. Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United
States, 2007–2010, published 2012, U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Health Statistics,
http://www.cdc.
gov/nchs/data/series/sr_11/sr11_252.pdf

3. The Average American Man is Too Big for His Britches, National
Public Radio, July 25, 2014,  
http://www.npr.
org/2014/07/25/332641840/the-average-american-man-is-too-big-
for-his-britches
                                                      
4. The Dangers of Deep Belly Fat, HealthDay, March 11, 2015,
http://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/diabetes-13/misc-
diabetes-news-181/the-dangers-of-deep-belly-fat-644354.
html                

5.  Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and
Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, National Institutes
of Health, Publication No. 98-4083, September 1998, at page 12,  
http://
www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/guidelines/ob_gdlns.pdf
Figure 1.  The natural waistline.
A comparison of da Vinci's Vitruvian man and the average American explains shrinking leg syndrome.
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