중앙데일리

The deadly creep of fat can be reversed, slowly

Jan 20,2007
Measuring belly size could be one of the easiest ways to pursue a new resolution to be healthy. The increase in the number of obese people has become a nationwide issue and a major factor in the national rise in medical expenses. One characteristic of obesity is when the waist line disappears and the belly swells up like a pregnant woman.
Obesity is at the root of many other diseases. It involves an excessive accumulation of fat in the body. Fat builds up in and around the internal organs and under the skin. Abdominal obesity involves an increase in the girth of the abdomen due fat deposits around the internal organs. As a result of different hormone levels, abdominal obesity gets worse among men during middle age and in women after menopause. When obesity affects the internal organs it also leads to various other disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, heart attack, fatty liver, gastroesophageal reflux disease and cancer (especially colon cancer, pancreas cancer, gallbladder carcinoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostatic carcinoma).
Since fatty acid is easily broken down in the abdomen, obesity of internal organs increases the numerical value of neutral fat in the blood and it acts as a catalyst for many cerebrovascular diseases. Fat in the internal organs is absorbed into the portal system ―which carries blood from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver ― so fat composition increases in the liver and it also increases the amount of insulin in the bloodstream by preventing the assimilation of insulin by the liver. Obesity of internal organs also increases abdominal pressure and thus causes reflux esophagitis and functional gastrointestinal disorder.
The size of the abdomen’s girth is the simplest way to find out whether an abdominal obesity problem is present. To determine obesity, measure horizontally around the waist beginning at the navel. The Korean Society for the Study of Obesity says the threshold for abdominal obesity in adults is 90 centimeters (35 inches) for men and 85 centimeters for women. However, even those who are under this threshold may not have a reason to celebrate.
Recently, there have been claims that the threshold for Asians needs to be reduced since their muscle density and number of insulin secreting cells are smaller than those of other races. At the same degree of obesity, Asians have more obese internal organs and suffer from a greater incidence of diabetes.
TOFI, which was recently defined by the U.K.’s Medical Research Council, is another problem. TOFI (Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside) is a condition in which a person appears free of obesity but their internal organs are clogged with fat. Doctor Jimmy Bell, who led the TOFI experiment, revealed that 40% of adults suffer from some form of TOFI because they do not exercise enough.
People who have small body structure, do not have much muscle and do not work out need to check to see if they suffer from TOFI. The most accurate way is by taking a Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen, since it measures fat tucked in between the internal organs.
Reducing abdomen size requires patience. Once a person has been judged to have abdominal obesity, their first step is to start reducing the size. The best method is for them to eat less and work out regularly.
Muscle decreases and fat cells increase when people reach their mid-twenties as aging in the human body picks up pace. Excess cells throng to the abdomen so those over 25 should make a habit of eating less and exercising if they want to avoid abdominal obesity.
The most difficult aspect of preventing and curing abdominal obesity lies in the fact it’s a lifelong process. For middle-aged people who are accustomed to eating a lot and not working out a special level of commitment is required to overcome obesity. Those who cannot control their eating need to make a habit of eating less with the help of a prescription from a doctor for an appetite suppressant. Writing down the list of the diseases that obesity can cause and displaying the list in a prominet place can also be helpful.
Frequent exercise is also hard if it is not habitual. The most important thing is to pick a sport that can be done consistently, such as dancing, swimming, hiking or cycling. People seeking to lose weight should keep a work-out diary to track the length, frequency, intensity and effects of exercising. In order to keep up constant exercising, a partner is also helpful. Those who begin a weight loss program with a co-worker, friend, spouse or child are more likely to succeed.

7 factors that lead to abdominal obesity
Relying on diet food, a single diet food or fasting
Not being able to resist fast foods
Eating between meals
Eating a lot at once
Lacking physical activity at work during the day (using cars, elevators or asking others to run errands)
Never missing a dining out appointment

Eating habits that can help reduce abdominal obesity
When - Have three meals at regular hours
Where - Always eat at the table only
What - Have some salad before meals. Other than meals, relieve your hunger with tea without sugar or fruit and vegetables. Avoid sweet food or greasy food.
With whom - Have meals with your family or friends having long talks while eating. Ask them for support to help you avoid greasy food or voracity.
Why - Write down the reasons when you want to eat between meals. If those reasons turn out to be because you are bored, stressed or because others eat then, shake off your appetite with some tea.

jbiz91@joongang.co.kr


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