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Battling belly fat can help your heart and your waistline

Most of us don’t want belly fat for vanity reasons, but excess fat in this area also means increased risk of heart disease.

By Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS 

Most of us don’t want belly fat for vanity reasons, but as a doctor, my concern when I see excess fat in this area is the threat of increased risk of heart disease. Over the past decade, there have been countless studies linking how body fat is distributed to cardiovascular disease.

How the fat is distributed throughout the body is important. For example, two people who weigh the same might not have the fat distributed in the same places. Some people are more likely to deposit excess fat in the stomach area, particularly men. Researchers haven’t confirmed why this is, but we presume it may be as simple as genetics (belly fat runs in the family) and environmental factors (sedentary lifestyle, even eating late at night). But a solution is attainable for just about everyone ─ decreasing weight will decrease your belly fat.

 Like many Americans, if you are battling belly fat, you have a wealth of ammunition to fight back. In extreme cases (being more than 100 pounds overweight), weight loss surgery can be a viable and relatively fast solution. For others who need to lose 10 to 50 pounds, saying goodbye to sugar-laden and processed foods can make a difference faster than you might expect. And if you start exercising (just 30 minutes a day), you will see improvement even faster ─ and enjoy some extra room in the waistline ─ just in time for spring.

About Dr. Sowemimo

“Dr. Seun” is a board-certified, fellowship-trained advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgeon with expertise performing the safest, most advanced laparoscopic and general surgical operations. To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732) 637-6370.

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lisa February 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Hi, Dr. Seun! Thank you for this. Question for you. I do eat a healthy diet but can lose a little bit in the stomach area (about five pounds, max). Will walking several times a week help?

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