Again Men usually have More Visceral fat than women, but women still get it and need to take precautions.
According to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, visceral fat may have a greater impact on the cardiovascular health of older women, than overall obesity. Danish researchers also found that women with excessive belly fat have a greater risk of atherosclerosis than those who store fat mostly in their hips, thighs, and buttocks.
- The proximity of visceral fat to your liver boosts production of LDL (Bad) cholesterol, that collects in the arteries and forms plaque.
- Over time, plaque becomes inflamed, causing swelling that narrows the arteries, restricting the passage of blood.
- The narrowing passageways increase blood pressure, that strains the heart and potentially damages tiny capillaries.
- The inflammation further increases the risk of blood clots that cause stroke.
The health risks associated with extra abdominal fat increase with:
- Over 45 years in men
- Over 55 years in women
…as well as Family History.
Behaviors like cigarette smoking and lack of physical activity also contribute to poor overall health. Some of these risks factors can be altered with modifications in diet and lifestyle.
Test For Visceral Fat
Short of talking to a physician into performing an MRI on your abdomen, how do you know how much of this unhealthy fat you have? Check your waistline. A trim waistline is a good indicator that you don’t have a large build-up of visceral fat. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has set the following cutoff points to identify people who are at high risk of developing obesity-related diseases:
|Women||Greater than 88 centimeters (35 inches)|
|Men||Greater than 102 centimeter (40 inches)|
If your measurements fall above these cutoff points, there is a good chance that you are carrying a dangerous amount of visceral fat. Even if your waist circumference does not exceed the cutoff value, making an effort to reduce your waistline can still significantly improve your health.