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Abdominal Obesity and Health Risks

By Ross Macdonald

Obesity is linked to several factors:  sedentary habits especially TV watching. Men who spend the most time as “couch potatoes” are four times more likely to be overweight than those who watch TV the least. Obesity is also strongly linked to low testosterone levels and high glucose (sugar).

Glucose is the fuel you use to live on; it releases energy for prolonged exercise. An average man’s sugar store will last for several miles but fat will give you the energy to walk from Boston to Atlanta; also stores vitamins A, D, K, and E. It is our body’s blanket preserving heat; it acts as a cushion and it is essential for the metabolism of sex hormones. That is the good part of fat.

The human body has not evolved beyond the point where it takes every chance available to store fat. The mortality rate of obese men is about 28% above the average man and 39% above lean men. Excess fat increases the risk of high blood pressure heart disease, stroke, gallstones, diabetes and various cancers. In the last 20 years it has affected even children. Recent research has shown this is due to fast foods and corn syrup sweeteners.

Some types of fat are worse than others and in the abdomen and chest are unique. These adipose fat cells are responsive to adrenaline and as a result produce large amounts of free fatty acids. These are then carried to the liver where they impair the breakdown of insulin. (Worse adipose fat can cross the brain barrier and negatively affect brain cells) .The over worked liver produces triglycerides a “bad” fat. These adipose fat cells activate cortisol, the catabolic hormone and a cause of Metabolic Syndrome. In men upper body fat cells hang on the waist and these cells accumulate around  (suffocate) internal organs. Belly fat is the more damaging to health. It is linked to high insulin, sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and levels of LDL (Metabolic Syndrome). Genetics plays a role and is responsible for up to 70% of an individual’s accumulation of fat. Age also has some effect, but its effect is magnified enormously by proper nutrition. Exercise will not normally eliminate fat BUT it will help keep it off.

It’s easy to find out your fat level. Determine your height in inches and weight without clothes.  Multiply weight by 700 and divide that result by your height (inches). Divide that result by you height again. This is your Body Mass Index and according to the latest studies should be below 25; 25 to 29.9 is overweight; 30 to 39.9 is obese and over 40 extreme obesity. To learn if you have too much stomach fat measure your waist at the navel; measure your hips at the widest and divide your waist size by the hip size. Men need to keep this ratio under 1.0 and women 0.85. Men above 1.0 have twice the death rate than those at 0.85 or lower and strokes were more common among men with s ratio over 1.0.

There is no way to spot reduce! To lose inches from your waist lose fat from the whole body. Even if you starve yourself there is no way you will keep fat off without exercise. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. Upper body fat is easier to lose than belly fat due some part to the different type of fat. There are good supplements that can help you to lose fat.

For questions  contact Ross at


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