How Belly Fat Impacts Your Health

If your belly is bigger than the rest of your body, you may be putting your health at serious risk, recent studies show.

Studies show that if you have a high amount of belly fat, your health is probably compromised and you could be at a greater risk of developing some serious diseases.

One study that used CT scans found people with excessive belly fat have a greater risk of heart disease and cancer than those who carry around the same amount of fat in other areas, such as their butt or thighs.

With a big belly comes pressure around the internal organs, which is one explanation researchers have with regards to why abdominal fat is so dangerous. The tissue could be compressing neighboring kidneys or adrenal glands, and preventing them from releasing helpful hormones.

A another study by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center showed that people with a high amount of abdominal fat are also at greater risk of developing hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure), because the excess weight puts more pressure on arterial walls. This increases your chances of developing serious health issues such as heart disease or strokes.

A bigger waistline can also limit your lifespan. In 2008, researchers followed around 360,000 Europeans and found that people with the most belly fat had about double the risk of dying prematurely as people with the least amount of belly fat. The author of the study said the findings also showed that accumulating excess fat around the middle can put your health at risk even if your weight is normal.

If you want to lose the fat around your midsection, it may not be as hard as you think. With an improved diet and exercise, the visceral fat around your waist is more easily lost than the subcutaneous fat located other places.

Plus, doctors say that even just a small decrease in your waistline can have a major effect on your body’s ability to ward off diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Just keep that in mind when searching for motivation to hit the gym or before starting your own personalized workout.

Sources
Dr. Soram
Men’s Health
WebMD