Excess belly fat may be more deadly than being obese or overweight

Your bathroom scales never lie. You can tell your doctor how much you’ve been working out or how well you’ve been eating. But sooner or later, you have to step on those scales — and it never lies.

Well, it looks like it may be time to flush that old saying right down the tubes.

If you’ve been relying on your weight to determine how healthy you are — and whether you’re at risk for heart disease or diabetes — there’s a good chance your bathroom scales have been lying to you for years.

A new study from the Mayo Clinic found that even if you’re at an ideal weight — or aren’t considered obese by medical standards — you could still be sending your risk of an early death through the roof.

It all comes down to whether you’re carrying any fat around your mid-section. You know, the notorious “beer belly.”

Researchers looked at 15,000 adults over 14 years and found that excess belly fat, even if you’re skinny everywhere else, may be even more deadly than being obese or overweight.

The study found that a man with a normal body mass index (BMI), with an abnormally large belly has an 87 percent higher risk for death than a man with a normal-sized stomach.

You see, excess fat, especially the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a “beer gut” — is a pretty reliable predictor of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and some cancers.

Unfortunately, lots of people are more or less content to look the other way on their beer bellies, especially if they’re not otherwise overweight.

If you’ve been ignoring that bulging gut for years, it’s time to do something about it. Your life may even depend on it.

First, make sure your exercise routine is a good mixture of cardio with resistance or weights. Anything that helps improve muscle mass can start to flatten that spare tyre and protect you from diabetes and heart disease.

Second, you may need to make fairly radical changes to what you eat. I recommend the Paleo Diet, which focuses on the foods of our ancestors, like meat, fruits and vegetables while avoiding grains, carbs and processed foods.

Remember, when you eat too much sugar your body quickly stores it as fat — often around your mid-section.

And third, find a good probiotic, preferably with multiple strains. Probiotics, which help give you a good balance of healthy gut bacteria, have been proven to support weight loss and should help lessen bloating around your gut.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
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Beware the beer belly, nytimes.com

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  1. Oh goodness, do I struggle to get rid of my middle age belly. Wish I had made more of an effort when I was younger to stay fit and healthy.

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