Belly Fat Raises Mortality Risk
The reason many men pay regular visits to a gym is to do away with unsightly belly fat and maybe develop six-pack abs in the process. The major benefit attached to getting that belly gut flattened isn’t cosmetic, however. You may be saving your life by doing so, according to a recent study.
In the study which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers observed that central obesity (another way of describing that ugly beer belly) predisposes a person to high risk of death. The risk is said to be even greater than what obtains among generally obese individuals.
The study authors used data of more than 15,000 adults in the United States, aged between 18 and 90 years. They assessed the participants’ Body Mass Index (BMI) in relation to their central obesity, which is defined as the ratio of waist size to hip size. The data collected suggested that men and women with normal weight and belly fat have a higher risk of mortality (up to two times more) than those without body fat but determined, according to BMI, to be overweight or obese.
Normal BMI is not everything
It is not really a new idea that belly fat may give rise to some severe conditions and possibly to death. But this is the first study to show that a person may have normal BMI – so not considered generally obese – but yet have the problem of central obesity.
“In this study, we actually proved that a person can be centrally obese and have normal BMI and that person is at a greater risk for serious health problems,” lead author Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a Mayo Clinic cardiovascular specialist, told CBS News.
BMI merely makes a comparison between a person’s weight and height, but it is best used strictly for measuring overall size. This is because it cannot make a distinction between an obese person and someone packing dense muscle, for instance.
Visceral fat is usually higher in individuals with the so-called beer bellies. This accumulates below the musculature and encloses organs such as the liver and pancreas, inhibiting feeling of urgent need to keep appetite under control and lose additional calories. Experts say that visceral fat is more harmful to the body than subcutaneous fat.
If you do not feel the urgent need to zap that belly fat fast for cosmetic purposes, you should when you realize this may save your life. Belly fat can cause insulin resistance and lipid profile abnormalities. It could give rise to diabetes, which is characterized by high blood sugar level. Individual with fat bellies are more likely to have high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, increasing the risk of suffering from heart diseases and stroke.
Detecting excess belly fat
The new study has virtually rendered BMI useless in telling how your belly fat might make you vulnerable to serious health issues. A simple measurement can be added into the mix to make things easier in determining if you have a problem of excess fat. This involves using a measuring tape to determine the circumference of your waist. If you get a size below 39 inches, you probably do not need to worry your head, although a size very close to the threshold may indicate the need to take preventive steps. A waist circumference size above 39 inches means you need to take urgent action to burn belly fat to avoid health issues.
Any quick fix?
Quick fixes, don’t most of us just love them? You probably love them as well. But what you may find disappointing about burning belly fat is that there is no quick fix, except you want to allow yourself to be taken for a ride by companies dealing in miracle products and programs. Belly fat is probably one of the toughest types of fat to deal with. Your best course of action for tackling beer belly is a combo of diet and exercises – one is less effective without the other. Fiber-rich foods such as beans, oats, rice bran and barley as well as strawberries and citrus fruits have been shown to help in burning belly fat. Apparently, you need to take it easy on the bottles as well. Vigorous physical activity to naturally raise HGH levels should also be engaged in. If you are too lazy to visit a gym regularly, simple brisk walking can still be beneficial to an extent – at least, it will be better than doing nothing.
The problem of beer belly obvious goes beyond the cosmetic. You will be saving your life by having it zapped by all means.