Saturday, 3 March 2012

Central obesity and health risks

What is central obesity?

Central obesity is the presence of excess fat in the abdomen. In this condition, the amount of fat deposited in the abdomen is out of proportion to total body fat.

This condition is also known as
  • Belly fat
  • Visceral fat
  • Abdominal obesity
  • Apple shape obesity
  • Pot belly
  • Beer belly
  • Central adiposity

obesity, obese man,overweight Fat deposition in the central part of the body, that is abdominal region, is associated with greater health risks. This increases the chances of getting heart attack and other heart related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke and obstructive sleep apnoea.

Excess fat in the buttocks or thighs is less harmful than belly fat.

The accumulation of fat can occurs in three different areas of the abdomen.
  • The internal organs such as liver, pancreas and omentum (visceral fat)
  • Under the skin of the abdominal wall (subcutaneous tissue)
  • Behind the abdominal cavity (retro-peritoneal area)
The visceral fat refers to the fat that surrounds the internal organs such as liver, spleen, and bowels. The amount of fat deposition inside the abdomen can be measured by ultrasound scan or CT scan.

Waist circumference and waist-hip circumference ratio are used in the assessment of central obesity. A waist measurement of 94 cm for men and 80 cm for women is an indicator of central obesity.

Several studies have shown that excess fat deposition inside the tummy is strongly associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.

Health risks of central obesity.

1.More chance of getting heart disease.

Visceral fat is located near the intestine and liver. Fatty acids released from this intra-abdominal fat influence the metabolism of cholesterol. Researchers found that visceral fat has direct links to elevated levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

High level of HDL and low level of HDL cause deposition of cholesterol plaques in blood vessels including coronary arteries which carry blood to the heart muscles. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.

Narrowing of coronary arteries due to atherosclerosis can lead to angina and myocardial infarction (heart attack) which is the most serious complication of central adiposity.

2.Central obesity is associated with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a deadly combination of abdominal obesity, hight blood pressure, insulin resistance and abnormal cholesterol levels.In general, a person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease as someone who doesn't have metabolic syndrome. In addition, people with this condition have five times more risk of developing diabetes.

3.Central obesity is linked to asthma and breathing difficulties.

Belly fat is associated with asthma and other breathing problems. A recent study conducted by a Norwegian university found that people with central obesity are about 1.8 times more likely to develop asthma than people with healthy body weight.

The obesity hypoventilation syndrome is a condition in centrally obese people in which poor breathing leads to lower oxygen levels in their blood. Excessive abdominal fat interferes with the breathing mechanism results in shallow breathing. Low levels of oxygen in the brain and other vital organs can cause serious health problems including heart failure.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is common among centrally obese people. This condition is an important cause of high blood pressure, tiredness and depression.

How to burn belly fat?

To avoid belly fat, you have to eat a lot more raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, and a lot more fruits and other things in their natural state. Reduce eating processed foods, lay off the alcohol and drink a lot of water and reduce your sugar intake.

You need to do more aerobic exercise to burn some calories. Brisk walking for half an hour every day is a good exercise that can be done without any exercise equipment. Walking at least 10000 steps a day is recommended. You can count your steps with the help of a pedometer.

Walking outside is difficult in winter months. So buy a treadmill that will help you burn some calories.

Talk to your doctor about suitable treatment options. You may need weight loss pills or surgery.

People also like to read about obesity in children