Are you Skinny Fat?

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 (DGIwire) –Recently, researchers at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in the UK reported that being slim might not lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes or other metabolic disorders.  They found a so called “lean gene” which was linked to lower body fat but increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

After looking at over 75,000 people for genes associated with body fat, the researchers found evidence linking a gene called IRS1 to lower levels of body fat.  Yet, they also found that IRS1 was associated with unhealthy levels of cholesterol and blood glucose levels.  This seems to run counter to what we’ve been told about too much excess body fat.  What’s going on here?

Upon further examination, it seems that IRS1 was only linked to lower levels of subcutaneous fat, which is the visible fat under the skin, but not the more dangerous visceral fat which surrounds your organs in the abdominal cavity.  If your body needs to store fat, it has to put it somewhere.   So what seems or looks good is actually bad.

There are also many people who take the time to work out regularly and are relatively fit but are still overweight or have the same pot belly. These people may not be as healthy as they think.

“Ever seen someone who looks thin or fit but has a pot belly?  They just might have the IRS1 gene and subsequently be at higher risk.  Looking healthy is not enough.  A fat belly, which is anything over 33 inches, should not be ignored, particularly if other bio or blood markers are not in normal healthy ranges.  Over 17 million people die each year from heart disease according to the World Health Organization.  The number of people with diabetes has more than doubled in the last 20 years.  A global obesity epidemic is driving a truly alarming surge in heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” according to Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH 2011).

Tom Griesel adds, “Focus first and foremost on optimal health.  Having a truly lean body with ideal body composition, eliminating all excess subcutaneous and visceral fat is the key. A proper diet and lifestyle is easier and more enjoyable than many people think.”

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