Abdominal Fat a Culprit in Metabolic Syndrome

Susan Farley
Published Online: Wednesday, December 1, 2004

In an effort to determine why not all obese people are affected by metabolic syndrome, researchers found that the distribution of fat plays a large role, with the amount of abdominal fat making a significant difference. Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of disorders that, together, increase a person's chances for developing heart disease and diabetes. Of 58 study participants, 31 showed =3 signs of metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, low high-density lipoprotein levels, and a large waist size. The participants had no significant differences in fitness level, body weight, body mass index, fat mass, body fat percentage, or the amount of subcutaneous fat. Among the 31 women exhibiting signs of metabolic syndrome, researchers found significant differences in the amount of abdominal fat. For individuals who lose weight with exercise rather than with dieting alone, there will be selective loss of (abdominal) fat. It seems that exercise causes intraabdominal fat to be mobilized more quickly."

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