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  • David Price

What a waist !

The hot weather of late has enabled many of us to enjoy the warmer weather without all the usual clothing, this has led to the unveiling of what many are referring to as the Covid stomach or lockdown belly . On average, more than 40% of adults have gained weigh with the average weight gain being around 7lbs or just over 3 kgs.The gain in weight being attributed to the usual source, over eating/drinking and lack of exercise. Much of this weigh gain over lockdown, for men, has found its way to the waist, both externally and internally. This gathering of fat around the midriff according to researchers, could have very harmful effects. The suggestion is, the larger the waist, the greater the risks of a premature death.

Data suggests that men with a waist circumference of over 40 inches are at 50% greater risk of death than those with a 37 inch waist. Those with a waist circumference: - below 37 inches are considered to be a “low” risk. - between 37-40 inches, deemed to be of “high” risk. - over 40 inch waist considered to be "very high” or dangerous. The waist circumference is a good measure of the fat around your middle, but is by no means an exact indicator. A larger waist tends to suggest that there will be excess fat (visceral) inside your organs. Carrying to much fat around your organs can lead on to some serious heath problems in the future. Visceral fat has been linked to a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance along with heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Visceral and Subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat, which is usually described as the fat that sits just below the skin found on much of the body. This fat is normally harmless and may even protect against some diseases .

Unlike the subcutaneous fat, visceral fat can’t be seen and is appears deep within the body. The fat will most often be found wrapped around the bodies organs (liver, pancreas & intestines) and has been linked to a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance along with heart disease and certain types of cancer.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Skinny Fat The term sounds like an oxymoron, but in fact it’s a very common problem.Having a fairly flat stomach does not mean you will not be prone to developing visceral fat around your organs. That's sometimes called TOFI, or "thin outside fat inside.”The outward appearance of a lean body, could be hiding all sorts or issues as the BMI may suggest a normal or heathy person. Unfortunately BMI does not measure the body fat percentage and despite the BMI reflecting a healthy figure, internally the numbers may not be so rosy. Reducing visceral fat. Reducing any fat is tough at the best of times and visceral fat isn't any different. Unlike the losing of any subcutaneous fat, which can be seen, losing any visceral fat will largely pass by unnoticed. That’s not to say that the benefits won’t be. To benefit internally, like most things, will require an external change. To make any change inside, it is suggested that: - 30 minutes of exercise per day.(brisk walk, running, cycling, aerobic or strength exercise) - Eat a healthy diet. - Stop smoking. - Reduce Alcohol and sugary drinks - Get 8 hours sleep. Much of the advice given is fairly standard, but sadly many of the men who could do with the change, choose to ignore the simple advice.

Conclusion. Before the increase of the lockdown belly, the waist line figures were expanding on their own. The latest figures seems to suggest that the proportion of adults who are obese or overweight, is increasing and that figure increases with age. The highest of these age groups with 82% aged between 55-64 yr old. Not far behind were those aged between 45-54 yrs old with 73%. On the whole 67% of men and 60% of woman were categorises as overweight or obese. The waist line measurement is a simple way to measure where you are in proximity to the health guidelines, and if action needs to be taken, it’s better to do it now than pay later. Brett’s view: It’s tough to see what’s going on internally.. I must admit I don’t eat the healthiest of food all the time, but hopefully by trying to keep fit will mitigate any future problems. David’s view:

For some reason, my cholesterol is always seems to be higher every time I have a blood test, and my fat level is always around 20% - I am going to try and work on my diet a bit more as I regularly exercise.

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