Unless you an aspiring summa wrestler, you’re probably not a big fan of body fat.  Body fat comes in two basic varieties.  One, subcutaneous fat, displays itself as love handles or thighs, arms and butts.  It is unsightly, but benign.

The other variety, visceral or deep fat, is anything but benign.  In fact, it can be deadly.  It accumulates around the abdominal organs and is metabolically active, which means it raises the risk of heart disease, cancer (breast and colorectal), dementia, and death.

How do you know you are carrying around visceral fat?  Simple.  Just measure your stomach.  For a woman, a circumference of 35 inches or greater means you are in the danger zone.  For men, it’s 40 inches and up.

Visceral fat is a particular problem for women, because it increases with age.  It remains stagnant in most men after peaking at a younger age.

Two thirds of American women are overweight or obese and that health problem is compounded by visceral fat.  And here’s the scary part.  A recent study of 350-thousand men and women found that a large waist could double your risk of premature death, even if your overall weight is normal.

In my next post, I discuss how to prevent or get rid of deep fat.

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