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.
Other relevant links:
- More belly fat could be linked to poorer bone quality. See: Does More Belly Fat Mean Weaker Bones?
- The type of fat you consume is important. See: Does Excess Saturated Fat in Food Lead to More Belly Fat?
- Fructose may boost visceral fat more than glucose. See: Sugar and Visceral Fat