Cardio And Belly Fat
Researchers at the University of Illinois have found that regular cardio exercise sessions will help remove more belly fat than flexibility exercises.
Older sedentary adults participated in a fitness program of three sessions of cardio exercise per week or three sessions of flexibility exercises during a 10 month study.
After 10 months, the cardio group had less belly fat.
They also had reduced C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, and improved fitness overall (Viera and Woods, multiple studies, 2009).
Death Rate And Belly Fat
After following 359,387 middle-aged people from nine European countries (Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) for almost 10 years, researchers determined that people with the largest waist measurement had more than double the premature death rate compared to people with normal waists.
Those people with the greatest amount of belly fat died more often from cardiovascular diseases or cancer.
This finding was significant even after adjusting for BMI or Body Mass Index which is used to calculate normal weight.
Belly fat, or abdominal fat, is different from other fat deposits in the body (like subcutaneous fat) because it secretes inflammatory chemicals and hormones that contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
Researchers also found a significantly increased premature death rate among those people with higher waist-hip ratios and higher BMI's, but the largest death rate was in the group with the largest waist circumference (Pischon T, General and abdominal adiposity and risk of death in Europe, New England Journal of Medicine, November 2008).
What's a healthy waist measurement for men and women?
According to this study, a healthy waist measurement for men was less than less than 80 cm or 31.5 inches. High risk belly fat in men was a waist measurement of 120 centimeters or 47.2 inches or higher.
The high risk belly fat in women waist measurement was more than 100 cm or 39.4 inches. The healthy waist circumference for women was less than 65 cm or 25.6 inches.
Need help getting rid of belly fat?
Here's research on belly fat diets.
Lifespan And Belly Fat
Belly fat, also called abdominal or visceral adipose tissue, is associated with many aging health problems including metabolic syndrome.
A new animal study compared animals on a regular diet where they were allowed as much food as they wanted; animals on a calorie restricted, optimal nutrition diet; and animals who had their belly fat surgically removed and then were allowed as much food as they wanted.
As expected, the calorie restricted animals had the greatest mean and maximum lifespan.
While removal of the belly fat increased maximum lifespan only slightly, there was significant increase in mean lifespan compared to the regular diet animals (Muzumdar R, Visceral adipose tissue modulates mammalian longevity, Aging Cell, June 2008.
Green Tea Catechins And Belly Fat
Catechins from green tea are polyphenol antioxidants that include the powerful EGCG.
The study took place during a 12-week multicenter trial with 240 Japanese women and men who had abdominal obesity or belly fat.
The subjects were given green tea with high catechins (583 mg.) or low catechins (96 mg.) daily under double-blind conditions where neither the doctor nor the subject knew which tea they received.
Compared to the low catechin group, the high catechin group lost more body weight, body fat mass, subcutaneous fat, and belly fat. They lost more distance around their waist and hips. They lowered their body mass index (BMI) more. Their blood pressure dropped more among those who started with systolic blood pressure higher than 130 mm Hg. Their LDL or bad cholesterol decreased more.
There were no side effects for either group (Nagao T, A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans. Obesity-Silver Spring, June 2007).
If you are making your green tea from whole leaf tea, you should know that catechins like EGCG are extracted into the hot water at the same time as caffeine. Here's more help preparing a higher catechin/caffeine green tea.
Brain and Belly Fat: Will Fat Bellies Make You Crazy?
Belly fat is proving to be an independent risk factor for many life-threatening diseases.
In other words, it's not only being overweight, but also where the extra fat is deposited that is dangerous.
Now a new study shows that belly fat in midlife is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia later.
Researchers comparing medical records of 6583 people beginning in 1964 and following them up to 2008 (average follow-up was 36 years).
For obese people with abdominal fat, the risk of dementia was 3.6 times greater than for people of normal weight and no belly fat.
Overweight people with abdominal fat had an increased risk that was 2.3 times greater than normal.
Thus belly fat either doubled or quadrupled the risk of dementia depending on how much extra fat people carried.
What about normal weight people with a little belly fat?
Their risk of dementia increased 1.89 times, also almost doubling (Whitmer,R, Neurology, March 2008).
Oats And Belly Fat: Whole Grains Blast Belly Fat
Did your grandparents tell you that your morning bowl of oatmeal would stick to your ribs?
I still don't know if that's true, but now a study shows that your morning oatmeal could help you lose belly fat.
Researchers tested obese adults with metabolic syndrome, age 20 to 65 years old, during a 12 week diet. Divided into two groups, both received the same information on weight loss and exercise. Dietary recommendations included five servings daily of fruits and vegetables, three low dairy, and two servings of lean meat daily.
One group was instructed to eat whole grains only for their grain servings, and the other group was instructed to eat refined grains only.
Researchers measured weight, biomarkers, and belly fat.
While both groups lost approximately the same amount of weight, the whole grain group lost significantly more weight from the abdominal area--their belly fat.
The whole grain group also showed a 38% decrease in C-reactive protein, a protein biomarker associated with increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease (Katcher HI, American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 2008).
Researchers stated that this amount of C-reactive protein reduction was similar to reductions seen with statin drugs.
Whole grain foods include oatmeal (thank you, grandparents!), whole grain cereal, whole grain breads (if listed as the first ingredient), brown or black rice, wild rice, buckwheat, whole wheat pastas, and other specialty grains like kamut and spelt.
For more oatmeal and nutritional tips, check nutrition news.
Calories And Belly Fat News: Belly Fat Is Not Invincible
Calorie restriction with optimal nutrition is used in laboratories to create very large increases in average life span and maximum life span with a variety of species.
A new study using mice shows a sequence of improvements that helps create this longevity increase.
Researchers found there were substantial changes in the liver and pancreas within the first week of dietary restriction. Insulin dropped 50% and the liver PPARgamma mRNA fell to 13% of baseline.
Belly fat and other subcutaneous adipose tissue began to change after four weeks (Mulligan JD, Experimental Gerontology, 2007).
Tumor formation from precancerous conditions can decrease after eight weeks on calorie restriction.
These results are with mice, a species that is considerably more short-lived than humans. But the results confirm the consistent progression of anti-aging health benefits from calorie restriction without malnutrition.
Diabetics may want to discuss dietary energy/calorie restriction for insulin improvements with their physicians.
Your Brain And Belly Fat: Big Bellies Bad For Men's Brains
A study from Finland tracked the total health of 49,996 men and women, aged 25 to 74. All participants were free of stroke and heart disease at the beginning of the study.
During almost 20 years of follow-up, 3228 people had strokes.
After comparing the stroke patients with a matched sample of men and women, the results were that BMI (body mass index or overweight) was related to strokes for both men and women.
But increased abdominal fat or belly fat was only associated with increased strokes for men, not for women (Hu G, Archives Internal Medicine, 2007).
Hey, guys! You might want to check out this belly fat blaster page.
So how about a nice cup of tea?
Weight And Belly Fat: English Belly Fat Is Expanding.
The National Health Survey for England has found that belly fat or abdominal fat has increased from 26.2% in 1993 to 39.0% in 2003 for men and from 32.4% in 1993 to 47.0% in 2003 for women.
Generalized obesity has also increased in England, now affecting over 25% of their population.
Both men and women with abdominal obesity showed a dramatically higher risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. By 2003, the risk of diabetes had more than doubled for those with abdominal fat.
Public health officials are urging immediate action to prevent epidemic levels of life-threatening consequences for obese people in the near future (Hirani V, Public Health Nutrition, 2007).
While weight loss is always based in calories in and calories out, you can learn about how green tea may help protect against belly fat here.
And remember, a nice cup of green tea is one of the best substitute behaviors on the planet!
Heart And Belly Fat News: Big Bellies And Artery Blockages
While being overweight increases the risk of many diseases, some kinds of overweight are worse than others.
In some ways, belly fat, also called abdominal fat, stomach fat, pot belly, or apple shape, might be more dangerous than your total weight.
In a new study, multi-ethnic adults from the Dallas Heart Study were checked for waist hip ratio (WHR), body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and the development of atherosclerosis. Using MRI and EBCT, researchers measured atherosclerosis by the presence of calcium deposits in the arteries and heart.
The most significant predictor of atherosclerosis was surprisingly the waist hip ratio, that is, abdominal or belly fat (See R, Journal American College Cardiology, 2007).
Atherosclerosis blocks the arteries and is a precursor to serious heart disease including heart attacks.
It is estimated that 1.2 million people in the United States will suffer heart attacks in 2007 (American Heart Association).
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