Being a little overweight can increase the risk of cardiovascular events, but a new research presented on 20 April at the European Society for Cardiology shows that it’s also important where that fat is deposited, not just the amount of it.
Adults that have a normal BMI and some extra belly fat have a 79% higher risk of major heart health issues – heart attack, stroke, and death – than the people that are a little overweight but have a normal distribution of fat.
The study had data from 1,700 people in Rochester, Minnesota and 16 years of follow-up work to show us a worrying conclusion: fat belly is dangerous!
It seems that those that have more belly fat have increased rates of diabetes or heart disease, even if their weight is normal or almost normal.
Fat Bellies – Central Obesity
There might be more factors that link central obesity (fat bellies) with an increase in heart disease.
More visceral fat is connected to low relative muscle mass, which is equal to poor health. The extra fat in the abdomen is accumulated by people that live in a continuous stress, by people that are sedentary or by other health conditions.
Scientists believe that visceral fat cells release more fatty acids than other fat cells, and these fatty acids get drained into the liver, which collects and distributes them through the circulation. Too many fatty acids build up in the heart cells, pancreas and liver, thus affecting the organs and increasing cholesterol and blood sugar. On top of it, the body will get a lower tolerance for exercise, thus gaining more weight.
There are some other health issues that have nothing to do with hormone disorders, so it’s always better to see a doctor about that extra belly fat.
A Healthy Body and a Healthy Waist
A fat belly is considered in women that have the waist circumference more than 35 inches and for men more than 40 inches. There’s also the BMI important in knowing the best weight according to height: a healthy BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9.
For a healthy body and a normal waist, physicians recommend to exercise regularly, not smoke and eat a healthy diet consisting of lean meat, proteins, vegetables and fruits and limit the amount of whole grains foods.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.