Diet link to “hidden” abdominal fat
The team from Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University says that, in contrast, a
diet involving more polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, lowers
The authors highlight that visceral fat – the accumulation of fat around the
waist or abdomen – is a “powerful risk factor for diabetes and
cardiovascular diseases related to cholesterol-laden plaque build-up in the
They say, “Visceral fat, the unseen fat within the abdominal cavity, is an
even stronger risk factor for disease than subcutaneous fat, the fat just
under the skin that is noticeable.”
Researchers reached their conclusions after looking at 46 women and 38 men
between the ages of 55 to 75, who were asked to record their food intake over
a three-day period.
Using magnetic resonance imaging, the team analyzed the participants’ diets
and then measured their visceral fat. They discovered that the strongest
indicator of visceral fat was waist circumference.
“In addition to maintaining a trim waistline, a diet low in saturated fat
and high in polyunsaturated fat, such as the Mediterranean diet, may help
reduce visceral fat,” said Dr Kerry Stewart, senior author of the study.
Typically, men have more visceral fat while women have more subcutaneous fat.
The researchers plan further studies to assess the impact of exercise in
reducing visceral fat.
A study published recently in the British Medical Journal warned that young
people in the UK have been getting much wider around the waist during the last
Source: Johns Hopkins University
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