Central obesity, at it’s most basic, is the presence of excess fat in the abdomen. A lot of times when people discuss central obesity, it also means the weight is concentrated in the abdominal area, and the fat in the abdomen is out of proportion when compared to the rest of the body. Sometimes people call central obesity stuff like, “pot belly, beer belly, visceral fat” and more, but it all just refers to excess belly weight.
How bad is central obesity?
According to very recent Mayo Clinic research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, people who are of normal weight but have fat concentrated in their bellies have a higher death risk than those who are obese all over.
The Mayo clinic research looked at folks with normal body mass indexes and yet who also had central obesity — a high waist-to-hip ratio and found those folks had the highest cardiovascular death risk and the highest death risk from all causes as well.
Senior author Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester notes, “We knew from previous research that central obesity is bad, but what is new in this research is that the distribution of the fat is very important even in people with a normal weight. This group has the highest death rate, even higher than those who are considered obese based on body mass index. From a public health perspective, this is a significant finding.”
Lopez-Jimenez goes on to say that, “A normal BMI doesn’t mean heart disease risk is low… Where fat is distributed on their body can mean a lot, and that can be determined easily by getting a waist-to-hip measurement.”
But kids just have chubby bellies!
No actually, they don’t.
Researchers at the University of Georgia and two research institutions in Australia recently did research where they found out that children with high waist circumference measurements were five to six times more likely than children with low waist measurements to develop metabolic syndrome (MetS) by early adulthood. MetS is a deadly cluster of risk factors linked to long-term development of serious health issues, such as coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.