According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, belly fat is dangerous and may actually be more hazardous than being obese.
Researchers say that people who carry fat around their middle suffer a higher mortality risk when compared to people who are obese but have a pear shaped body.
This visceral fat in your middle makes toxins that affect the way your body works, says Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, president of the American Diabetes Association. Among them are chemicals called cytokines that boost your chances of heart disease and make your body less sensitive to insulin, which can bring on diabetes.
Fat around the midsection is a strong risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancers, says Samuel Klein, MD, the director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
There have been studies carried out before stating that abdominal fat is related to risks of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Dr Marie Savard, MD, an ABC News medical contributor, stated that passive fat may actually help cut down the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Fat stored around the hips and butt was seen to bring down insulin resistance and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Dr Savard added, “We still have a lot to learn about why pear-zone fat seems to have a protective effect against chronic disease.”
Michael Jensen, MD, professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, has also added some good news to this. He stated that “About 99 percent of people who lose weight tend to shed it in the abdominal region before they do anywhere else.”
For making a comparison between apple-shaped body and pear-shaped body, Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, who works as a specialist in cardiovascular diseases at the Mayo Clinic, and his team looked at a large amount of data.
The data analyzed was taken from Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Data of people having various body combinations of BMI or body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios was assessed for total and cardiovascular mortality risks.
It was seen that regardless of BMI, normal-weight adults who have mid-body fat are more likely to have their long-term survival threatened when a comparison is made with any group.
The researchers further added that based on BMI only, a person who has normal body weight and suffers from “central obesity” suffered from two times the mortality rate as compared to people who are overweight or obese.
Doctors recommend that belly fat can be banished with an active lifestyle and it will not only make you look good, but feel good too. Dr. Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, Missouri, “It is important to lose weight.” While talking to Healthline during an interview, Klein stated that it might seem impossible to lose weight, especially belly fat.
He said that a series of mini-moves can make you lose body fat. Such exercises can be effective in losing belly fat too.
He stated that human bodies are made to survive and the fact that 70 percent of people in the United States are overweight or obese does not surprise him at all.
Klein felt that it is important to be exercising not just following a diet.
He further added that there is a stark need for a better program that is well equipped with handouts, accountability, referrals, follow-ups in order to deal with the obesity epidemic. It is vital to know that obesity leads to a number of other diseases calling for a shift in how we think about weight loss.