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Health Risks & Belly Fat

It's no secret now that fat and obesity lead to health problems, but even more research has shown that belly fat is one of the most dangerous kinds of fat.
So if you are one of those people who are apple-shaped, meaning you tend to store more fat in your belly, you'll want to pay attention to this.
According to a USA Today article, people with larger middles tend to store hidden fat in their abdominals. This fat often winds up gathering around vital organs.

This fat, also called intra-abdominal fat, is linked to high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high insulin, high blood pressure and many other problems.

The article also goes on to say that men whose waists are wider than 40 inches and women whose waists are wider than 36 inches are at the greatest risk for developing these health conditions.

Breast Cancer Risk

Women who are overweight, particularly those who store fat in their stomachs, have higher estrogen levels. As you may know, breast cancer stems from excess estrogen production in the body. So researchers are finding links between stomach fat and breast cancer.
Belly fat also leads to raised insulin levels in the body -- another condition that links to breast cancer.

Diabetes Risk

Weight gain in your stomach and abdomen disturbs your insulin production and increases your blood sugar levels. When this happens, stress is put on your pancreas to make even more insulin.
In the long-run this will overwork your pancreas, causing it to wear out. This is how diabetes develops.

Heart Disease Risk

Did you know that tummy fat raises your risk for high blood cholesterol by as much as 50 percent? A Harvard study found that women with a waist size larger than 31 inches were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as those with slimmer waistlines.
Without getting too scientific, as your liver turns more blood sugar into fat, this fat enters your blood stream and then dumps into the fatty cells inside your stomach and abdomen. This causes your unhealthy cholesterol levels to rise, which in turn increases your heart attack risk.

Varicose Veins

Excess belly fat can weigh down the veins in your legs and make it difficult for blood to travel through them.
Veins act as one-way valves to prevent the blood from flowing backwards. If the veins becomes weak, blood can leak back into the vein and become clogged.
This is why a lot of overweight people begin to develop varicose veins. They can be avoided with weight loss and exercise.

Sorry, I couldn't make this page more cheerful, but sometimes the truth hurts folks.

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