The Hidden Dangers Of Belly Fat
While most of us think that the dangers of belly fat is on the beach and staring into a mirror, the real dangers of excessive abdominal fat is much greater. Belly fat is a serious health risk – one that we are only now starting to see the full extents of. For years doctors used the BMI (body mass index) to gauge health and body fat, but it’s been inadequate to reflect the full picture of how healthy a person is.
BMI does is only an indication of body fat in general. While some people bear more fat in other parts of the body like the buttocks, legs or back this BMI does not take into account that the actual location of excessive fat is where the real dangers lie.
If you carry a lot of fat in your abdominal area then your health risks are fat greater than someone who as the same amount of body fat in another part of their body. The main reason for this is that belly fat is directly linked to heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Belly fat is metabolically active and therefore raises the risk of colon cancer. It affects certain hormones that in turn affect cell growth. Women are most at risk and if you are female your excess belly fat can give you a 48% greater chance of developing colon cancer. Although the number is lower for men, the risk of developing heart disease is greater for men with too much belly fat.
So, instead of measuring BMI, the Waist-to-Hip ratio is now used as a far better gauge of your weight and it’s relationship to your overall health. For women, the ratio needs to be below 0.85 and for men it needs to be below 0.90. Anything higher than that is considered “at risk” and you need to seriously consider losing belly fat.
If you thought that you just need to shed some excess pounds from your belly for summer you might want to think again. Losing belly fat is not just about looking better. It’s about being healthier and extending your life. The amount of belly fat is a good indication of your overall health.
If you needed a bit of extra motivation to lose stomach fat, then hopefully this will be it. Yes, there are prescription drugs and gastric bypasses, but in most cases the risks outweigh the reward. In the end losing belly fat the right way will only make you healthier overall, so don’t look for shortcuts. It will add years to your life.