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Muffin Top
With guys we call it the spare tire, with gals we call it the muffin top, and it is not only unsightly but it is deadly.

This is not necessarily new information but new studies are coming in that are clarifying the issues with abdominal fat even further.  Here is what you need to know when looking at your belly!
  • You do not need to gain weight to have increased abdominal fat.  If pants that used to fit you no longer fit then it may be time to get out the measuring tape and see exactly how much damage has been done!  "Even if you haven't had a noticeable weight gain, if you notice your waist size increasing that's an important sign," said lead author Eric Jacobs of the American Cancer Society, which funded the study. "It's time to eat better and start exercising more."
  • A BMI can lead you down the wrong path.  BMI can be extremely inaccurate when it comes to abdominal fat.  The ratios are all wrong when it comes to a healthy waist line.  I, for example, have about 9% body fat but come out clinically obese and HIGH RISK on a BMI test.  I would have to get an exception just to be let into the military!!!  So use other more accurate tools to calculate your body health.
  • It is never too late.  The longer your body fat(ab fat) stays high the more damage is done, BUT you can significantly reduce risk factors by decreasing your waist line.  So get to it.
  • 70% of women in the US have waist lines larger then is healthy!
  • 50% of men in the US have waist lines larger then is healthy!
  • The average adult waist line has grown by an inch per decade since 1960.
  • An extra 4 inches above normal increases your risk of death by 15-25%, and that number then includes the top 25% of people considered healthy under BMI standards...
Here is the science.  Fat stored inside your abdominal wall appears to have a far greater impact on your health than fat stored just under your skin.  Certain foods like saturated fat and alcohol seem to store more often as body fat under the abdominal wall then simply eating too many calories.  The studies do not yet consider causation, so "WHY" you are fatter underneath your muscles has not yet been addressed, it is simply that if you are then you are at risk.  Men with waists (measurements made at the largest part of the waist) enter the "HIGH RISK" category as did women with the same measurement at 35 inches.

The truth is that we all know what carrying extra fat can do.  These studies are simply adding more information and hopefully motivation to the pool.  Also, note that weight was not a major factor in this study.  Some people may weigh more because of other factors, like height or muscle, and still maintain a healthy waistline while others may appear to be a healthy weight but too much of the body fat is being stored under the abdominal wall...  Time to get out the measuring tape!

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