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Does Belly Fat Indicate Poor Health?

man discusses health with doctor

Belly fat is often a cosmetic concern for people wishing to lose weight or look great in a bathing suit.  While our abdomen is just one of many areas that tend to hold on to excess fat, such as the thighs, hips, and arms, belly fat may carry more implications regarding your health.  Fat in other areas of the body resides just under the surface of the skin and does not typically affect bodily functions. Belly fat, however, is considered visceral fat, and lurks far beneath the surface, surrounding vital organs.  Even people with seemingly healthy weights can hold on to excess belly fat, and this can increase the risk of several health issues. Belly fat is different than fat found in other areas of the body because of the active way in which it participates in bodily functions.  This fat acts much like an organ, producing hormones and other chemicals that are especially harmful to older adults. Multiple studies have confirmed an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and dementia associated with a larger waistline.  A waist that measures over 35 inches for women, or over 40 inches for men, is considered to fall into this high-risk category. While maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your risk of accumulating excess belly fat, there are also ways to specifically target this area when losing weight.

There Is No Magic Pill, Powder, or Exercise to Specifically Target 

Some people make the mistake of thinking they can work off excess belly fat with crunches or abdominal exercise.  Unfortunately, this kind of fat does not easily burn off, and instead should be dealt with by focusing on diet and nutrition.  Highly processed foods and sugar may need to be strictly limited or avoided entirely to lose belly fat. It is also not a coincidence that a large belly is often referred to as a “beer belly.”  Alcohol consumption contributes to belly fat in several ways and may be another factor in increasing the risk of serious health issues.

If you are experiencing adverse health effects from drinking alcohol but find yourself unable to quit, it may be time to seek treatment for addiction.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. We use an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues.  No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness.  If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.