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Is your Apple-Shape Killing You? Risk Factors of Belly Fat

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That jiggle around the middle may come in handy when floating in the ocean; however, from a medical standpoint, that extra cushion means you are at a higher risk of having a heart attack.

The so-called “apple-shape” type carries excess fat that is distributed around the abdomen vs a pear-shape body type which mainly accumulates fat around the hips, thighs, and buttocks.

This abdominal fat distribution is a more important predictor of health than overall adiposity. Here’s why:

  1. Excessive weight around the middle section correlates directly with visceral fat (Stored around organs like liver, pancreas, and intestines). This type of fat deposits is linked with a greater risk of metabolic dysfunction (high triglycerides, increased blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome).
  2. Central adiposity (obesity) can be associated with abnormal glucose, insulin insensitivity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, stroke, and elevated fatty acids. All of these increase the risk for cardiovascular problems.
  3. Abdominal adiposity releases excess fatty acids into portal circulation, meaning these fatty acids greatly accumulate in the liver. They also accumulate in the heart and other organs. This leads to organ dysfunction, atherosclerosis and widespread inflammation.

How to lower your cardiovascular risk factors:

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