Abdominal Fat More Important than Body Mass Index (BMI) Regarding Obesity Risks

A current study of the UMIT private university in Tyrol recommends measuring abdominal fat already in young people to detect risks of heart attack, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases early. The more abdominal fat – also called belly fat or visceral fat – exists, the sooner changes of vascular structures seem to occur. In the worst case the blood flow gets interrupted, leading to severe secondary complications such as strokes.

Abdominal fat increases from the age of 25 years over the course of life by around 300 %. This could explain why heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases of the cardiovascular system rather appear at advanced age, but can be prevented already in early years.

People who maintain their ideal weight by doing sports regularly, eating moderately, or fasting occasionally reduce cholesterol deposits in vascular walls and thus decrease the risks of cardiovascular diseases. The Body Mass Index (BMI), which indicates the relation between body weight and body height, is said to be a good first risk indicator, however it does discriminate between fat and muscle mass. As a consequence misinterpretations can arise quite often – because muscles notably weigh more than fat! By all means it is recommendable to do a measurement of belly circumference in addition.

With reduction of abdominal fat by losing weight obesity-associated risks can fortunately be lowered again. Crash diets or even surgical interventions should wherever possible be avoided for reaching one’s ideal weight due to the yo-yo effect and high surgical or anesthetic risks.

Instead we prefer “healthy” slimming through medically-assisted weight loss, as offered in our clinic. After a comprehensive investigation of both hormonal and health status an individual therapy concept can be created, which also includes – apart from nutritional and sport measures – administration of bioidentical hormones or a selective liposuction at problem zones.

Medically-assisted weight loss mostly lasts either 3 or 6 cycles (1 cycle = 28 days). If necessary extensions or repetitions can be useful.

DDr. Heinrich, MD

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