Belly Fat Dangers

iStock_000017116914_MediumBelly fat is some pretty deadly stuff, Rick and I discuss on PodMed this week, based on a study in Annals of Internal Medicine.  Turns out that even if you have a normal body mass index or BMI, but you're carrying a doughnut around your waist, you're at significantly higher risk for death than either your normal weight counterparts without belly fat, or even those categorized as overweight or obese, but with a more distributed fat pattern.  And that's true for both men and women.

This analysis relied on data from the third NHANES study of more than 15,000 participants, and the findings are concerning.  As we speculate in the podcast, for someone with a normal weight it might be a bit of a tough sell to advocate for weight loss, especially given the well known fact that 'spot reduction' isn't a reality.  It's not really possible to simply lose fat from one's belly.  Rick says from a clinical standpoint, such a fat distribution pattern should be a clear signal to health care providers that interventions to make sure blood pressure and blood sugar are controlled and regular exercise undertaken are take-homes. We both agree that further research into the why of this body fat pattern as well as the mechanism by which it increases risk would be helpful.

Other topics this week include continuous versus intermittent CPR and intensive versus standard blood pressure control in NEJM, and the safety of silicone breast implants in Annals of Internal Medicine.  Until next week, y'all live well.

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