We’ve been convincing ourselves for as long as we can remember that weight gain isn’t always a bad thing, reassuring each other that a bit of belly fat is necessary to keep warm during the cold winter months.
The New York Post, however, did some recent research on the matter, looking into the most dangerous areas of the body to carry fat, and we’d be lying if we said we were completely thrilled with the results.
According to the new research, the most dangerous place to store excess fat is also the most common: the stomach. Yes, really.
Excess stomach fat can supposedly gather around your internal organs and put strain on important bodily functions, with Susan K. Fried, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine, specialising in bodily fat storage, confirming to the New York Post the risks of stomach fat.
It is important to note, however, that there are two different types of body fat: visceral fat (the kind you really don’t want) and subcutaneous fat (the less worrying kind). Subcutaneous fat lies directly under the skin, but visceral fat, referred to as unseen fat, is said to be harmful, gathering around the body’s organs.
Unfortunately for everyone, Fried broke the news that excess weight around the middle of the body tends to be visceral. She did, however, explain how to check what type of fat your stomach is storing with a very simple test.
‘If you lie on your back, and your fat doesn’t stick up, it’s probably just under the skin. If it sort of sticks up and looks like you’re pregnant, then it’s likely visceral,’ she explained.
Visceral fat around the stomach can apparently be hazardous, with Dr. Kristen Gill Hairston, medical director of the Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre, explaining to the New York Post that it can ‘increase inflammation in the body, leading to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.’
We’re sorry to drop such bad news on you, but if you’re in need a pick-me-up, it turns out that bum and thigh fat aren’t so worrying, in fact Professor Fried even went so far as to praise it. Yes, really.
‘If you carry fat in your butt or in your thighs, that is actually associated with better health, lower risk of cardiac disease or diabetes,’ she explained. ‘Women should be happy about fat on their thighs, it keeps them healthy!’