Some Facts About Belly Fat
Subcutaneous Versus Visceral Fat
There are two types of body fat. The first is called subcutaneous fat, and this is fat that your body stores just under the surface of the skin of the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and hips. The other type of body fat is visceral fat which your body stores around important organs such as the heart, liver and lungs. When you look at your body, you can't see visceral fat whereas subcutaneous fat is obvious to everyone. Belly fat is one example of subcutaneous fat.
Men and Belly Fat
In general, men are more likely than women to accumulate belly fat, says Dr. Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic in a February 2011 article. Excessive belly fat increases your risk of conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stroke. One criterion to use to determine if a man has excessive belly fat is his waist size. A man whose waist measures more than 40 inches is considered to have excessive belly fat. What can a man do if he wants to get rid of some of this fat? Doctors recommend three actions that a man can take to reduce belly fat: 1) limit calorie intake by eating smaller meals, 2) try to get moderate exercise such as walking on a regular basis, and 3) incorporate about 10 grams of soluble fiber into your diet each day. You should consult your doctor about putting together a diet and exercise program that is tailored to your individual needs.
Women and Belly Fat
Post-menopausal women need to be keenly aware of the accumulation of belly fat around their waists. Just as it does for men, belly fat increases the risk of cardiovascular problems and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. In addition, excessive belly fat in a woman increases the secretion of estrogen which in turn increases a woman's risk of breast cancer. If a woman's waist measurement is greater than or equal to 35 inches she is considered to have excessive belly fat. Women can cut down on fat accumulation by making the same lifestyle changes recommended for men. A woman's doctor can set up a program that is right for her particular situation.
This hub has been written for the sole purpose of providing information to the reader. It is not intended to be a source of any kind of medical advice or instruction, and it should not be used in the diagnosis of any illness, disease or condition. You should consult your doctor if you have questions about a specific medical problem.