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March 16, 2020 • Weight Control

Where You Carry Excess Weight Is What Really Matters


In one of the largest evaluation to date, scientists concluded that normal weight individuals (those with a normal BMI) that carry their excess weight in the midsection (central obesity) are at the greatest risk of death from any cause relative to those who are overweight or obese and carry their weight elsewhere.

In this large-scale analysis, scientists compared death risk with the weight status of 42,702 English and Scottish adults over a 10-year period. Each participant was categorized in one of the following based on their BMI and waist circumference: normal weight without central obesity; normal weight with central obesity; overweight; overweight with central obesity; obese; or obese with central obesity. When compared with normal weight individuals with flat bellies, only normal weight and obese people with excess belly fat were at an increased risk of death from all causes.

This study backs up several previous studies that have shown that belly fat is the real menace.

Tips to reduce belly fat:

  1. Exercise most days — If you don’t accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity most days of the week you are virtually guaranteed to accumulate belly fat. And the more the better!  (I can always tell who is active and who is not active enough by looking at their bellies!)
  2. Eat an abundance of non-starchy veggies and fruits.
  3. Enjoy beans daily.
  4. Avoid the Great White Hazards — white flour products, white rice, white potatoes and sugary foods and beverages.  These foods are belly fat magnets.
  5. Avoid saturated fats — It has been shown to boost belly fat.
  6. Include omega 3 fats in your diet regularly – enjoy oily fish, walnuts, whole soy foods, dark leafy greens, flax, chia, and hemp seeds.

For optimal health, maintain your waist size (measured at the level of the hips) in the following ranges:

  • males < 37 inches (danger zone 40 inches or >)
  • females < 32 inches (danger zone 35 inches or >)

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