Health Insider Update


“Fat but Fit” Theory Busted!

“Fat but Fit” Theory Busted!
March 30
13:25 2016

Ever noticed a fat UFC fighter or football player? You certainly don’t have to be thin to be strong or fast. However, carrying around excess body fat can be detrimental to your health. Keep reading to learn more.

Wilfork-e1416548489653What was once considered “extra storage space” is now believed to be toxic. Fat cells produce chemical messengers called cytokines that promote inflammation. When sent throughout the body, these messengers can cause serious damage. It is this fact that has led scientists, researchers, and doctors to closely examine the effects of obesity – even when that individual is physically fit.

According to guidelines published in 1998, being in good physical health was more important than body fat percentage. Since then, the “fat but fit” theory has been proven false.

A Swedish study published last year in the International Journal of Epidemiology showed that obese, physically fit men had a higher chance of premature death than normal-weight, physically weak men.

The study, which followed 1.3 million Swedish men for 30 years, found that the benefits of regular exercise are severely diminished when the individual is overweight. Inflammation is the root of the problem.

Increased body fat percentage has been linked to high levels of inflammation, which is the main cause of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

White Fat

Your body uses adipose tissue (AKA white fat) to store energy. However, white fat also plays a role in inflammation when carried in excess on the human body. Another study published in 2015 in the Clinical Cancer Research journal showed a link between increased levels of adipose tissue and breast cancer.

Visceral Fat

losing-belly-fatVisceral fat, often stored in and around the belly, is the type of fat that accumulates around organs and in arteries.

Visceral fat leads to increased inflammation, which in turn leads to increased disease risk.

A third form of fat, recently discovered, has been termed “epicardial adipose tissue” (EAT) and is believed to exist directly on the heart’s outer surface. It may also exist beneath the membrane that encircles the heart, where it would be in direct contact with major arteries. EAT, believed to be highly connected with obesity, is thought to contribute to the development of plaque in coronary arteries.


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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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