3 Lesser-Known Conditions That May Be Caused By Belly Fat
Belly Fat Is Really That Bad?
There is a well-established link between belly fat and increased risk of numerous metabolic and heart diseases. In addition, some studies also link bulging belly to certain types of cancer. However, focusing only on these conditions can distract you from seeing the whole picture.
Learn about three lesser-known health conditions that can result from having excessive fat in the stomach.
What is Belly Fat? Know the Basics.
It is a deeper fat that surrounds visceral organs such as heart, lungs, liver and other organs. For this reason, you may also call it visceral fat. Some medical papers use the term “central obesity” to describe a bulging belly.
A growing body of evidence suggests that having too much belly fat can increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive problems, and cancer. This is true even when you are thin but have a wider waistline.
Belly fat is different from another type of fat that lies under your skin, which is called subcutaneous fat (SF). Unlike the fat in your abdomen, the subcutaneous fat is not linked to chronic diseases.
In fact, some types of fats that lie on your thighs and hips may be actually healthy.
Health Effects of Belly Fat: Looking Beyond Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer
1 - Excessive fat in the belly region can make you fall short of breath.
The link between central obesity and breathing might not seem too obvious but a very recent study published in the journal PLOS suggests abdominal fat can negatively impact your breathing capacity. The study which analyzed the clinical records of 1,145 subjects found that those with excessive belly fat are more likely to struggle with breathing problems. Because the subjects in the study were all non-smokers, the potential link should be a warning sign even when you don’t smoke. Interestingly, the researchers did not find a significant relation between SF and lung function.
2 - Obese kids may have weaker bones.
Childhood obesity remains a major public health problem in the US. In fact, between 2011–2012, 16.9% of American kids were found to meet the childhood obesity criteria.
A 2018 study published in the World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics suggests children with excessive belly fat may have weaker bones. Most notably, the effect might be independent of whether or not they have insulin resistance (IR), a condition in which the cells fail to utilize available insulin.
Though the researchers are yet to explore the underlying mechanism behind the link, they have noted some potential associations. For example, high levels of stress hormone “cortisol” and decreased production of growth hormone, both of which are common among obese people, might interfere with bone mineralization. They also suspect obesity could raise the risk of fracture, however, they are not in a position to draw any conclusion.
3 - Visceral fat can make you dumb.
Not all geniuses are thin and the amount of fat in the stomach does not necessarily reflect intelligence or memory. But the results of this 2010 study are really interesting.
The study which looked at the link between belly fat and total brain volume in 733 participants with mean age 60 years found that:
Participants with a wider waistline, which was measured by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), had reduced total brain volume.
There was a significant association between the amounts of visceral fat and a type of brain tissue called white matter. Most notably, the association was independent of BMI score and whether or not the participants had insulin resistance. BMI (Body mass index) gives a measure of body fat on the basis of an individual’s height and weight.
Weight loss science is always advancing so it is important to stay up-to-date with it.
A few simple points of information will help you lose weight to live optimally and prevent you from losing your mind over weight loss.
Share this with your friends who are facing a weight loss challenge.
You need a certain amount of visceral fat to cushion the internal organs.
Obesity, specifically abdominal obesity, is a risk factor for a host of chronic diseases.
Newer studies suggest it is not the amount of fat that affects the disease risk, but its distribution in the body that really matters. Simply put, a thin person with a bulging belly may be more likely to develop certain diseases compared to the one who looks fat but has a uniform fat distribution.
Subcutaneous fat has no important role in disease risk.
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