Diet and Weight Loss: Is there something different about abdominal fat?

People with more visceral (deep belly) fat have a higher risk of both cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Scientists monitored 3,086 men and women (the average age was 50) in the Framingham Heart Study for five years. Those with larger visceral fat depots (measured by CAT scan) had a 44 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease (largely heart attacks and strokes) and a 43 percent higher risk of cancer than those with smaller fat stores.

(The study didn’t specify which cancers, but earlier studies suggest that breast and colorectal cancers are most clearly linked to being overweight.)

What to do: Beware of a big belly. Boost your brisk walking or other aerobic exercise and cut back on sugary foods (especially drinks) to shrink your waist.

Source: J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2013. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.06.027.


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2 Replies to “Diet and Weight Loss: Is there something different about abdominal fat?”

  1. I have two questions:
    1. My age is 78 and I am about 15 lbs. overweight according to charts. While most of my body is well-padded, my abdomen is not because I had a “tummy tuck” about 15 years ago. Should I still be concerned about “bad” belly fat?

    2. Because of osteopenia, my spine has shrunk 2″, going from 5′ 4″ down to 5′ 2″. On weight charts, should I consider my height as it would have been as a younger woman without osteopenia? Or should I use the present actual height?

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