The unknown danger of love handles!

Not to give too much information about my life, but my wife has said that she loves my love handles… she won’t after reading this. Abdominal fat can be an indicative of a more serious and real possibility of a premature death, this is according to a research published by the “Annals of Internal Medicine”. This report is making the controversial claim that excess in belly fat increases the risk to our health, even in those people who fancy themselves as thin or “in shape” (very generously put).

The Study

Researchers have used data from a national survey to compare the risk of premature death in more than 15,000 adults. The median follow-up time was 14 years. The researchers observed the body mass index (BMI), a rough estimate of body fat based on the measurement of the weight and height. They also analyzed the proportion between the waist and hips. In the end, they determined that in fatal cases, there was an alarming rate of abdominal fat in almost all of the patients. Pretty much in the majority of cases they didn’t practice any type of physical activities and carried unhealthy diets.

You probably stopped reading for a second, and checked yourself out, and perhaps even went and looked in the mirror, while checking your belly rolls (I know I did). And if you though (like I did): ‘hey, I might have some love handles, but at least I am not overweight’, well that doesn’t make you less at risk that a person with “extra pounds”. According to the researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, NY, people with a normal weight but an excess of abdominal fat are even at a higher risk of dying prematurely than those with overweight or obesity. Scary, isn’t it?

Why are they dangerous?

Abdominal fat or visceral fat, tend to release an hormone called leptin, the "satiety hormone," is a hormone made by adipose cells that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger. When one has a large amount of accumulated abdominal fat there is a release of an abnormal amount of leptin, causing a resistance by our bodies making the brain unable to realize that you are not hungry anymore, thus causing for us to overeat and binge on unhealthy food.

What can you do about it?

The essential problem with developing abdominal fat is that, if the person is “healthy”, or not overweight, they might not consider it an issue that needs addressing,. In other words, we might become complacent with the way our body looks. While it must be cleared that having fat in our body is not necessarily hazardous to our health, following a good and healthy diet and taking up physical activities can literally become a lifesaver. The good news is that some of the basic exercises that take care of the belly fat issue can be done at home, with the aid of some inexpensive home gym equipment

Following, and most importantly keeping, these good habits can make an impact and reduce the amount of belly fat that we have in our bodies. By doing so the risk of premature death will take a nosedive, plus our quality of life will improve tenfold.