Studies over the past decade have consistently shown that belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is notoriously dangerous. In an evaluation involving over 100,000 adults, researchers found the bigger the belly, the greater the risk of death from any cause.
Even study subjects with normal BMI’s, but larger bellies had a higher risk of death. Among women, the association between death risk and belly size was actually strongest for those at a normal weight .i.e. you can have a “normal” weight and still have a dangerous amount of fat in your belly
Visceral fat is unique in that it is highly active metabolically and secretes a huge family of pro-inflammatory chemicals that damage the body through many different ways.
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(Archives of Internal Medicine, Aug 2010)