Exercise is your best defense against deep abdominal fat


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos





Scientists know the type of fat you can measure with a tape isn’t the most dangerous. But what is the most effective way to fight internal, visceral fat that you cannot see or feel?

The answer: exercise.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center analyzed two types of interventions — lifestyle modification (exercise) and pharmacological (medicine) — to learn how best to defeat fat lying deep in the belly.

“Visceral fat can affect local organs or the entire body system,” said senior author and cardiologist Dr. Ian J. Neeland, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. “Systemically it can affect your heart and liver, as well as abdominal organs. When studies use weight or body mass index as a metric, we don’t know if the interventions are reducing fat everywhere in the body, or just near the surface.”

To find out, the researchers evaluated changes in visceral fat in 3,602 participants over six months measured by a CT or MRI exam. Both exercise and medicines resulted in less visceral fat, but the reductions were more significant per pound of body weight lost with exercise.

“The location and type of fat is important,” said Dr. Neeland, a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care. “If you just measure weight or BMI, you can underestimate the benefit to your health of losing weight. Exercise can actually melt visceral fat.”

Participants in exercise trials were 65 percent female, with a mean age of 54 and mean BMI at enrollment of 31. Exercise regimens were monitored, not self-reported.

The medications used by study participants were FDA approved or in the FDA approval pipeline.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects nearly 40 percent of adult Americans. Dr. Neeland said researchers previously thought of fat as inert storage, but over the years this view evolved and fat is now seen as an active organ.

“Some people who are obese get heart disease, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome — and others don’t,” Dr. Neeland said. “Our study suggests that a combination of approaches can help lower visceral fat and potentially prevent these diseases.”



Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Man listed in Boy Scouts' 'perversion file' blocked from Goshen Troop
By Pamela Chergotis
The late Edward D. Spear, a Blooming Grove resident blocked from serving as a volunteer for Boy Scout Troop 63 in Goshen, was among hundreds of names...

Read more »
Image

It's official: Chester's senior/rec center has a capacity of 180
There was some confusion surrounding how many people Chester's new senior and recreation center could accommodate at one time, with The Chronicle given different numbers in...
Read more »
Image

Illuminate Goshen to host Kentucky Derby fundraiser
Illuminate Goshen will hold a Kentucky Derby-themed fundraiser from 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 3, at Limoncello at the Orange Inn, 159 Main Street. The cost is $35. There will be...
Read more »
Image

Where in Goshen?
Where in Goshen have you seen this detail? If you think you know, fill out the form below.
Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST COMMENTED



Find more about Weather in Chester, NY