It is not just being overweight or obese that puts you at a higher risk for heart-related ailments. In fact, you are at risk of obesity-related health concerns if you pack a load of pounds just around your middle.
A new study says that having excess abdominal fat puts you at the risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease even if you have an otherwise healthy weight. The journal JAMA Network Open published this study recently.
Study – Abdominal Fat Is A Risk Factor For Obesity-Related Health Problems
Scientists from the University of Iowa conducted this study. They wanted to see if too much belly fat could be dangerous for healthy folks. To do so, they looked at the medical records of above 156,000 women in the age group of 50 to 79. These women had taken part in the Women’s Health Initiative. First, researchers looked at their central obesity and body weight. Then they noted which of them died from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Findings Of The Research
The women who had excess abdominal fat had a 31% higher risk of death over a period of 20 years. This was in comparison to those who didn’t struggle with excess belly fat. This shows that body shape matters; it’s not just your weight that counts. Why is that so? This is because belly fat is stored more deeply in the body compared to other types of fat. Weight around the middle causes visceral fat which is the fat which forms around organs.
Visceral fat is supremely dangerous because it ups insulin resistance, leads to inflammation, and causes fat to build up in the arteries. For women who have had their menopause, controlling this belly fat can be particularly challenging. This is because, after menopause their estrogen levels drop. An unwelcome fluctuation in hormones can cause disturbance in body functionality.
What Can You Do?
Lead researcher Wei Bao said, “Women with some normal weight but have excess fat around the belly have higher risk of mortality.” To reduce your risk of suffering through life-threatening diseases which are commonly linked to obesity, you must cut back on carbs and starches. As a woman, be more careful as you approach your menopause. Moreover, exercise regularly. Staying physically active has a number of health benefits.
Regardless of your gender, pay attention to your health. What’s more, ensure that on your routine doctor appointments, you don’t just get your normal weight checked. In fact, you must also get your waist measurements taken.
Excess abdominal fat can be dangerous. Almost as much as obesity. This is because as a person with too much belly fat, you are at a high risk for obesity-related health problems. This stands true even if your weight is overall normal and healthy.
Therefore, make sure that you keep abdominal fat under control. You can improve your diet and add more physical activity to your routine for achieving the goal.