What is abdominal obesity?
- Abdominal obesity is where you carry too much fat around your waist
Why is it a problem?
- Carrying too much fat around your waist puts you at risk of dangerous health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke
- Many people are unaware that fat stored around the waist is more dangerous than fat stored elsewhere in the body
- Modern diets and lack of exercise have contributed to a global epidemic of diseases related to abdominal obesity
- An estimated 63% of heart attacks in Western Europe are due to abdominal obesity - this is an issue which is not going away
How do I know if I’m abdominally obese?
- You can still be abdominally obese even if you have a normal BMI
- Your waist circumference can indicate whether you are too fat in your abdominal cavity and in vital organs such as your heart, liver and muscles
- Don’t just rely on the weighing scales; look at your body in the mirror and consider if you carry excess weight around your waist
- Measure your waist with a tape measure. If it is bigger than the recommended level (94 cm for men and 80 cm for women) then you should take steps to reduce it
- You are more at risk if you are apple shaped rather than pear shaped
How can I reduce the fat around my tummy?
- Make simple lifestyle changes such as walking daily, making small alterations to your eating habits such as eating in moderation processed foods rich in fat and sugar and replace sugary drinks for water
- It’s very hard to change your diet overnight. Progressively cutting the calories contained in what you drink by switching to water is a great and simple way to reduce your intake of useless calories. Furthermore, you may gradually retrain your taste-buds – for example to become used to less sugar
- Being physically active for at least 30 mins per day is a great way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease associated with abdominal obesity.
For more information and advice on waist measurement and abdominal obesity visit the Active Fat website at www.activefat.org.uk.