April 27, 2017
Abdominal obesity is an excessive fat around the waist
Abdominal obesity or central obesity is an excessive fat around the waist. There are two types. The first one is when the fat is just below your skin. It is not especially dangerous and affects more to your figure than to your health.
The second one is much different. It is called visceral obesity or visceral fat. It is located deeper around your organs: stomach, liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, etc. and it is a certain risk for your health and for your life. Even thin people may suffer from this abdominal obesity. Then it is called TOFI (thin-outside-fat-inside)
We have to say that everybody has this fat. And in certain small quantities it is necessary for our body, as it acts as a protector cushion. When it grows, it turns to be abdominal obesity, one of the main risk factors for the so called metabolic syndrome. It is also associated with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and some types of cancer.
A recent explanation of why this second abdominal obesity is so serious is based upon the concept of lipotoxicity. Visceral fat cells pour their metabolic excretions into the portal circulation, which carries blood directly to the liver. The consequences are that this fats cells stuff the liver with free fatty acids and contaminate it with a heavy load of triglycerides. Fatty acids also gather in the pancreas, heart, and other organs, which are not designed to receive and store fats. The consequences are organ malfunction, bad regulation of insulin, high blood sugar, and high bad cholesterol, as well as an irregular heart function. Subcutaneous fat does not have this effects.
The only way to reduce abdominal obesity is losing weight. Physical exercise may contribute just as it is a weight losing method.
Controlling abdominal obesity
A simple way to determine the abdominal obesity is to get the waist-to-hip ratio. Measure your waist at the navel level with your abdomen relaxed. Then, measure your abdomen around your hips at their widest point, that is at the prominences of the bones. To get the ratio, divide your waist size by your hip size.
Risk begins at a ratio of 0,85. At 0,95 there is a serious chance of having a heart attack.
Some recommendations for the abdominal obesity match with the Mediterranean Diet Nutrition pattern:
Use of olive oil as main or only fat.
High consumption of fruit (of low glycemic load) and vegetables
Regular consumption of fatty fish, nuts, legumes
Moderate consumption of eggs, dairy products, lean white meats and wine.
Very low consumption of red meats, seafood and processed meats.
Ban of soda drinks, processed food, commercial sweets and confectionery.