A study from Mayo clinic suggests that excess belly fat can double the risk of developing a heart condition even in people that are not obese.
Mayo Clinic researchers recommend going to a doctor if your waistline is larger than your hips, as you are already at a higher risk of heart disease. The team insists that the risk is there regardless of the person’s BMI.
In short, belly fat can damage the heart in the long run.
For the study, the research team wanted to learn whether people that are not obese based on their BMI but have excess belly fat are at a higher risk of heart disease. Excess fat around the waistline is a mark of uneven fat distribution. Past studies have found that people with belly fat have a higher risk of health issues than people with a normal fat distribution.
See your doctor if your waist is bigger than your hips,
researcher Jose Medina-Inojosa, MD, recommends.
The study involved 1,600 people. Participants were tracked for nearly two decades and followed up to see if they developed a cardiovascular condition. Researchers were especially interested in any occurrence of heart attack, stroke, blocked arteries, coronary revascularization, and death from these conditions.
The analysis revealed that participants with excess belly fat, or central obesity, had double the risk of a cardiovascular condition than their peers with no belly fat. The risk was there even in people with central obesity who were not considered obese by looking at their BMI.
Dr. Medina-Inojosa explained that excess belly fat indicates that the person is sedentary, may be overeating or eating unhealthy foods, and has low muscle mass. The researcher also explained that fat is first stored around the belly.
So, people whose BMI shows that they are overweight but lack belly fat are more likely to have more muscle than fat which is great news for their health.
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