“Our results suggest that measures of central adiposity (fat) could be used as a supplementary approach, in combination with body mass index, to determine the risk of premature death,” the authors said.
Why is belly fat worse?
Visceral fat — which is stored in a person’s abdominal cavity — is also known as “active fat” because it influences how hormones function in the body. An excess of visceral fat can, therefore, have potentially dangerous consequences.
Because visceral fat is in the abdominal cavity, it is close to many vital organs, such as the pancreas, liver and intestines.
The higher the amount of visceral fat a person stores, the more at risk they are for certain health complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
According to Medical News Today, the health risks of carrying excess visceral fat also include:
- heart attacks
- raised blood pressure
- breast and colorectal cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
Body mass index is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. To calculate BMI, check the Adult BMI Calculator or determine BMI by finding your height and weight in this BMI Index Chart.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta:
- If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
- If your BMI is 18.5 to <25, it falls within the normal range.
- If your BMI is 25 to <30, it falls within the overweight range.
- If your BMI is 30 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
Obesity is frequently subdivided into categories:
- Class 1: BMI of 30 to < 35
- Class 2: BMI of 35 to < 40
- Class 3: BMI of 40 or higher. Class 3 obesity is sometimes categorized as “extreme” or “severe” obesity
The problem with BMI, critics say, is that it doesn’t differentiate between lean body mass and fat mass, CNN reported.
Lean body mass is often used interchangeably with the term “fat-free mass.” Lean body mass is the weight of everything in your body minus your nonessential fat. This includes your skin, bones, muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons and body water. The reason it’s important to say “nonessential” is because there is some fat found in your organs and marrow that is essential for metabolism.