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What your body fat is telling you about your risk of silent killers



EXCESS body fat is bad news for our health. But a latest study suggests it’s the placement of your fat, moderately than the quantity of it, that you ought to be taking note of.

Subcutaneous fat is the “safer” fat that sits under the skin and is simpler to eliminate, while visceral fat is the “dangerous” or “toxic” body fat stored deeper within the body that impacts our size and shape and our bodies’ systems.


Excess body fat is bad news for our health – we highlight which areas of the body we want to fret about

GP Dr Sarah Garsed says: “Visceral fat is energetic, which implies it changes the chemical balance in our body that results in chronic disease.

“It will possibly also sit around our vital organs, affecting their ability to operate.”

Latest studies have found having small amounts of fat in certain “trouble areas” might be more worrying.

Jenny Francis-Townson looks at which areas of the body we want to fret about relating to fat stores, and what they try to inform us.

Neck and face

STORING fat within the neck and face might be an indication you’re susceptible to heart disease.

A US study found the larger your neck, the more likely you might be to have high levels of LDL (aka non-HDL – or “bad” cholesterol).

Researchers imagine that a neck circumference over 14in for ladies and 17in for men indicates greater risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Dr Sarah says: “Neck fat may also put pressure on the predominant airways of the body making it harder for people to breathe.

“This might be particularly bad at night, with some patients struggling to breathe, increasing their risk of sleep apnoea, strokes and depression, not to say making them very loud snorers.”


FOR men and girls, a rise in breast size brought on by fat storage is a warning sign for future cancer risk.

Dr Sarah says: “Fat cells produce the hormone oestrogen, and a rise in oestrogen can increase the possibilities of breast cancers developing.

“These extra fat cells within the breast may also trigger inflammation within the body that may contribute to cancer.”


GAINING fat on the highest of the arms is an indication of excess fat in your entire body – and a warning sign that you should seriously consider reducing weight to guard your health.

Dr Sarah says: “Excess fat on the arms normally indicates obesity and a really high BMI.

“We all know that obesity is brought on by poor weight loss plan and anyone battling fat here will likely even be noticing fat stores elsewhere.

“Being obese increases your possibilities of depression, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, joint pain, heart disease, cancer and early death, so this can be a warning sign to try to change your lifestyle.”

Dr Sarah says: 'Excess fat on the arms usually indicates obesity and a very high BMI'


Dr Sarah says: ‘Excess fat on the arms normally indicates obesity and a really high BMI’Credit: Getty


RESEARCHERS found individuals with marbled fat of their thigh muscles have a 34 per cent increased risk of developing heart failure in comparison with those that don’t.

The experts behind the study imagine this “intramuscular” fat, identical to belly fat, is “energetic”, causing inflammation within the body and making the immune system attack, moderately than defend.

This could result in heart attacks and the event of type 2 diabetes.


HAVING a layer of “pinchable fat” around our waistlines is completely natural, but once we begin to store an excessive amount of visceral fat there it might probably be dangerous for our health – and 28million Brits have this problem.

Dr Sarah warns: “It often makes its way in to your liver where it’s was cholesterol.

“Cholesterol travels easily into the bloodstream, clogging up arteries and causing increased risks of heart disease, heart attack, strokes and hypertension.

“Visceral tummy fat may also impact chemical responses and the inflammation this causes within the body can result in insulin resistance and sort 2 diabetes.”

Research also shows it might probably leave you more vulnerable to certain cancers, including breast and colon.

So how will you shift it?

IT’S nearly inconceivable to focus on specific areas of the body to lose fat from, but you’ll be able to shift body fat more generally, without medical intervention.

You can shift body fat more generally, without medical intervention


You possibly can shift body fat more generally, without medical interventionCredit: Getty

Increase ‘neat’

NEAT – Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – is the movement you do this isn’t specific exercise, akin to moving across the house, showering or making the bed.

Should you increase that movement and reduce your time spent sitting, you increase your baseline fat-burning and boost possibilities of blasting body fat.

Eat more nutrients

BY eating a bigger number of fruit, veg, legumes and whole proteins, we feed our gut bacteria and increase our nutrient intake.

Nutritionist Sarah Bockhart says: “The more nutrition we tackle, the less likely we’re to refill on high-calorie foods.

“Plus, the happier our gut bacteria, the more likely we’re to digest food efficiently and fewer likely we’re to struggle with low mood – which also improves our possibilities of burning fat.”

Ditch processed foods

CUT down on processed foods akin to takeaways, crisps, pastries, biscuits and sausages.

They’ve very low nutrient value and are designed to make us need to eat more of them.

Also they are calorie-dense, so once we eat them we tackle more energy, making us more more likely to store fat.

Stress less

WHEN we’re stressed we release the hormone cortisol, which not only causes us to need to eat more, it might probably also impact our ability to interrupt down fat within the body.

Attempt to take trip, sleep more and avoid stressful situations.

Mix up exercise

PERSONAL trainer Cecilia Harris says: “Cardio exercise burns a number of calories, which is what we would like if attempting to shift fat.

“Cardio is anything that increases heart rate, like walking, running, cycling, HIIT workouts, aerobics, etcetera.

“Strength training can be great for fat loss, but differently.

“Once we lift weights we construct muscle, and the more muscle we’ve got, the more calories we use day-to-day, making it easier to lose body fat. Try doing a little bit of each every week.”

Is all of it bad?

HEALTHY body fat levels rely on age.

For those aged 20 to 39, the healthy range for ladies is 21 to 32 per cent, for men it’s 8-19 per cent.

For people 40 to 59, it’s 23 to 33 per cent for ladies and 11 to 21 per cent for men.

For those aged 60 to 79, it’s 24 to 35 per cent for ladies and 13 to 24 per cent for men.

Anything above these levels increases risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia.

Nutritionist Sarah Bockhart says: 'The more nutrition we take on, the less likely we are to fill up on high-calorie foods'


Nutritionist Sarah Bockhart says: ‘The more nutrition we tackle, the less likely we’re to refill on high-calorie foods’Credit: Getty

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