SENIOR WOMEN AND BELLY FATJul 8th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women
New Research About Belly Fat
Research continues to provide more and more valuable information about obesity, and senior women (and men as well!) need to pay attention. Not only is it unattractive, it is unhealthy. Seniors who store belly fat have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Seventy percent of senior women in America have abdominal obesity.
It’s explained this way: “Your expanding middle carries two kinds of fat — subcutaneous fat you can see and pinch, and visceral fat, which surrounds the abdominal organs deep inside the body. Subcutaneous fat, which also is carried in the hips, thighs, arms and legs, may be unwanted, but it’s not particularly dangerous. Visceral, or belly, fat, on the other hand, is hazardous to your health.” (AARP, July 2, 2012, Battling Belly Fat.)
Dr Philipp Scherer, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, has researched where fat is in the body and what it does. He is part of a team that identified some of the health dangers of belly fat. After menopause, women begin to accumulate belly fat; at that point, their risk of heart disease and diabetes increases dramatically, due in part to the belly fat problem.
So how to we women lose belly fat?
The answers are amazingly simple for those of us who are health-conscious and don’t want to die from heart-related issues or cancer. Diet and Exercise. That is, Diet. And. Exercise.
Colleen Doyle, American Cancer Society Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity, says the best way to reduce your risk of cancer is to maintain a healthy weight throughout life and eat healthy food. This is accomplished with following an exercise program that you enjoy and eating healthy, low-calorie food. More veggies and fruits, more whole grains, less sugar and saturated fats and refined grains. It’s a lifelong issue. You can’t just lose weight and then forget about diet and exercise. You must change your lifestyle.
Here are the “Belly Fat Fast Facts” according to the AARP:
- Belly fat is the most dangerous fat on your body, linked to diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer.
- For people over age 50, belly fat is often the easiest fat to lose.
- Crunches and sit-ups don’t work.
- Diet and exercise together do work.
- Danger zone: 35-inch or larger waist for women, 40-inch or larger for men. (AARP, July 2012)
Readers are encouraged to learn more online. Use the links provided in this article to read further. And always use your favorite search engine to find the latest information. Search terms suggested include belly fat facts, diet to reduce belly fat, best diet for seniors.