For a while now it has been accepted medical wisdom that certain kinds of fat that we carry and the area of the body that we carry it in has bearing upon our health, upping chances of developing certain disorders, diseases and other problems.
In fact it is now understood that rather than the Body Mass Index, the waist hip circumference ratio is a more accurate predictor of problems related to obesity, such as diabetes, heart diseases, stroke and even some kinds of cancer.
For women it is therefore significant what shape we are; apples or pears; in terms of where we carry our body fat. The pear shaped woman carries more fat around the hips and thigh areas, whereas the apple shaped woman carries more around the waist and stomach area.
Where we store fat is determined by genetic factors and there is very little we can actually do about this weight distribution; however the pear shaped among us can consider themselves luckier than their apple shaped counterparts.
Having a waist that measures more than 35 inches is said to increase risk of heart disease among women very significantly.
Fat stored around the belly or abdomen area is also known as visceral fat and it is this fat that surrounds the important organs of the body such as the liver, intestines, kidneys etc. This is actually the most dangerous kind of fat that the body has, because it decreases the efficacy with which these organs are able to function.
The rule of thumb for belly fat measure is that if you have just a few inches of ‘pinchable’ fat, then you are likely safe, but a belly that protrudes is impacting your internal organs and then you are at much more risk.
Some medical experts believe that fat cells regulate metabolic functions, that fat cells in the belly release especially large amounts of fatty acids, tend to be extremely detrimental to a person’s blood sugar and insulin metabolism.
One study found that the proximity of visceral fat to your liver increases LDL production, and also collects in your arteries and forms plaque, a waxy substance or plaque which becomes inflamed and causes swelling that narrows the arteries. This restricts the passage of blood which overburdens your heart and also increases risk of blood clots forming which can lead to stroke.