Mon - Fri 9.00 - 17.00

The Big Danger of a Big Belly: How Abdominal Obesity Affects Women’s Health

By Fitoru | 24 July 2018
woman crying in arms getting counseled by older man

When was the last time you measured your waist? If the distance around your middle measures 35 inches or more, you might be carrying a dangerous amount of abdominal fat, according to a recent New York Times report. The risk is particularly severe among post-menopausal women, who tend to experience a redistribution of body fat that affects the midsection. Not only does excess belly fat increase people’s risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, but research also suggests this condition can result in certain cancers, asthma, and even dementia.

What the Science Says

The discovery that carrying excess belly fat can pose a greater health risk than carrying fat in other areas is not a new one. However, recent research suggests that you don’t have to be overweight or obese to be at risk. On the contrary, simply having a waist that measures 35 inches (40 inches for men) could be enough to endanger your life.

One of the reasons that abdominal fat is so dangerous is that it’s composed of a different kind of fat than what’s found in other parts of the body. While the hips, arms, and thighs tend to accumulate subcutaneous fat, the belly collects visceral fat, which secretes dangerous chemicals. Located deep inside the belly, this metabolically active fat has been linked with a wide range of diseases. Not only can visceral fat raise bad cholesterol levels (LDLs), but it is also associated with high blood pressure and reduced insulin sensitivity, among other health hazards.

The link between belly fat and heart disease has been well established. However, past research suggested that the culprit was BMI (body mass index) rather than waist size. According to England’s Million Women Study, though, women with larger waistlines had double the risk of developing heart disease as those with normally sized waists. Moreover, the risk grew 10% with every additional 2 inches.

And unfortunately, the risk of heart disease is only the beginning. An increasing amount of research suggests that abdominal obesity affects a woman’s risk of suffering from certain cancers. For example, a study published in the European Journal of Cancer revealed a connection between larger waistlines and breast cancer risk in women of South Asian descent. Moreover, a study in the peer-reviewed open access journal PLOS One found a positive correlation between visceral fat and CRC (colorectal cancers).

Of course, overall cancer deaths are down in the United States, thanks to new methods of detection and treatment. However, as Americans are living longer, dementia is becoming a reality for many families. According to a Kaiser Permanente study, belly fat results in a shocking threefold increased dementia risk.

Assessing Belly Fat

Wondering if you’re at risk for some of the health hazards associated with visceral fat? The easiest way to find out is to measure your waist size with a basic tape measure. Start by bending slightly at the waist and then measure the place where your abdomen naturally indents. Your waist should be about two inches above the spot where your hips start.

Additionally, you can assess your overall body shape and size. While pear-shaped people tend to store subcutaneous fat in their lower extremities (hips and thighs), apple-shaped individuals are more likely to store dangerous visceral fat.

Is a Ketogenic Diet the Solution?

The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and battle abdominal bulging. If your waistline measures 35 inches or more, you might want to consider making lifestyle changes to improve your health.

Start by finding ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule. Because regular aerobic exercise is the best way to beat visceral fat, consider adding 30 minutes of running, biking, or swimming to your routine. These activities increase your heart rate and prompt your body to start burning visceral fat.

While embracing an active lifestyle is essential, individuals looking to lose belly fat will likely also need to make changes to their diets. According to an article in Shape, research shows that consuming more soluble fibers can help reduce belly fat accumulation. Additionally, dieters may want to consider embracing a ketogenic diet.

A popular eating trend, keto is designed to help the body achieve its maximum fat-burning potential. For most individuals, glucose is a primary source of energy. By consuming fats and proteins and avoiding carbs, keto practitioners can achieve a condition called ketosis, in which they start burning stored fat instead of sugar. The end result is a reduction in both weight and dangerous visceral fat.

Getting Started with Keto

Ready to start shrinking your waistline? Focus on meats, fish, nuts, and leafy greens. Avoid grains, fruit, tubers, and sugar.

Not all individuals are good candidates for a ketogenic diet. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist to find out if keto is right for you.

COMMENTS

  1. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog
    loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s
    the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated. fodboldtrøjer HalleyHai maglie calcio ElijahChi

  2. It’s very trouble-free to find out any topic on web as compared to books,
    as I found this paragraph at this website. Billiga Tjeck Matchtröjor MarlonDob magliette Schalke 04 DemetraBl

  3. Good day I am so excited I found your blog, I really found you by
    mistake, while I was browsing on Digg for something
    else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a remarkable post and a
    all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked
    it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
    be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb
    b. Roma Fodboldtrøjer EarthaMor Nuova Maglia Calcio
    BobbyeTmx

  4. I used to be suggested this web site by means of my
    cousin. I’m now not certain whether or not this submit is written by means of him as nobody else recognise such special about my difficulty.
    You are incredible! Thank you! Maglia chelsea NolanHusk maglie calcio poco
    prezzo DeneseBeh

  5. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally
    right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just
    how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!
    fodboldtrøjer ReggieKon Liverpool kläder WadeButto

  6. Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.
    juventus drakter med trykk EvelynePr Italien Troje AlphonseH

  7. Usually I don’t learn post on blogs, however I would
    like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do
    it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great
    article. maglia Leverkusen Poco Prezzo AlexisAbe Neue Fußballshirt MarkoSher

  8. Good article. I will be facing some of these issues
    as well.. Magliette Calcio Poco Prezzo BerndFred Kjøp Monaco Fotballdrakt BrandiLio

  9. Awesome! Its really amazing article, I have got much clear idea concerning from this article.

    Billiga Fotbollströjor BrandyDer fußballtrikots kaufen KelleyTip

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

STRUGGLING WITH MEAL PLANS?

We’re putting the delicious back in dieting, so that, as your body kicks into ketosis, you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything…not taste, not enjoyment, and certainly not fulfillment.

  • 5-10% Carbs

  • 15-25% Protein

  • 65-75% Fat

Related Post

6 Science-Backed Benefits of Mindful Breathing Exe...

6 Science-Backed Benefits of Mindful Breathing Exercises What if you l...

View Blog
Carb Comparison: Fruits to Eat and Not to Eat on K...

If you have just started your keto diet or you are strongly considerin...

View Blog
The Overwhelming Health Benefits of Green Tea

If you're a tea drinker, you already know how much better tea can be a...

View Blog