New reports state that belly fat might just be worse for you than obesity where it concerns the potential health risks it may expose you to.
- Researchers conducted a study on over 15,000 participants, around the average age of 45 years old
- For women, extra belly fat doubled their risks of cardiovascular problems
- For men, it doubled their chances of health related deaths as well
- The study underlines the need for doctors to look beyond BMI
This is a worrying conclusion of an extensive study. It’s already well established that obesity presents itself with several risks, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and even cancer. It’s becoming rapidly and dangerously more common in the United States, and it’s one of the leading causes of death.
And yet, knowing all this, researchers stated that central-body obesity, or belly fat, is linked to a higher mortality rate than obesity. This is available for people within normal ranges of BMI. Meaning that they appear healthy and skinny, and yet the belly fat around their waist increases their risk of several conditions. And, it’s doing it worse than obesity.
Researchers conducted a study on 15,184 Americans, around the average age of 45 years old. They found that people of normal weight with body fat around their mid-section had a worse survival rate than those who were overweight or obese. In fact, for women, it nearly doubled their chances, by 48%, to developing heart problems.
In men, it presented with the possibility of dying due to related health issues.
The study was meant to emphasize the problems of advising a healthier lifestyle only for patients who are overweight or obese. Generally, BMI do not take into consideration how the fat is distributed. It only calculates its entire mass, which is the flaw in computerized measures. A first person examination could solve the problem.
The issue is rooted in the fact that there is a lot of visceral fat around the waist. The worrying waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR) poses as a risk to the patient that might to unnoticed. It also presents with heightened chances of developing obesity-related conditions without actually being obese. This is because the fat is centered around the mid-section, as opposed to being distributed around the entire body.
According to Dr. Lopez-Jimenez, assessing the BMI is “a good start”. However, it’s not enough, as it will not paint the best picture on what risks may be hiding around your belly. Their data shows that clinicians, doctors, nutritionists, and other medical health professionals should be looking beyond the BMI.
Normal weight people with extra belly fat should be aware of the risk, and encouraged toward a change in lifestyle. Just because they’re not obese does not mean that the problems aren’t there.