The Dangers of Hidden Abdominal Fat
What Is Visceral Fat?
What Causes Visceral Fat?
|Women||Greater than 88 centimeters (35 inches)|
|Men||Greater than 102 centimeter (40 inches)|
The Health Risks of Abdominal Fat
- Type 2 Diabetes —Studies have shown that adults with large deposits of visceral fat develop lower sensitivity to insulin (insulin resistance). Since these people do not respond to the effects of insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels, they can develop type 2 diabetes.
- Coronary Heart Disease—Visceral fat may promote the release of cytokines, chemicals that regulate the immune response. Cytokines promote inflammation that affects the coronary arteries, which contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. Extra fat around the waist may also lead to high blood pressure, lower levels of HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol), and can increase the risk of stroke.
- Metabolic Syndrome—This combination of abnormal blood sugar levels, elevated triglycerides, low good cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure has been observed even in some normal-weight people (BMI less than 25 kg/m 2) with extra abdominal fat.
- Sleep Apnea —Increased visceral fat has been associated with the occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea since deep abdominal fat can restrict the movement of the diaphragm and limit lung expansion.
How Do You Get Rid of Visceral Fat?
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://win.niddk.nih.gov/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Healthy Living Unit http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/
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- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/12/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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