The number of Americans, both men and women, with big bellies and apple-shaped figures are continuously rising. This is the concern expressed by obesity expert Dr. William Dietz. And this type of obesity Dr. Dietz is talking about is not just the ordinary obesity where people get bigger but abdominal obesity – the most dangerous kind of this condition.

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Understanding abdominal obesity

Abdominal obesity is a type of obesity whose fat is concentrated around the waistlines instead of hips, thighs or other portions of the body. This means having a waist line of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men, hence the apple-shaped figures.

While having a round belly may look cute on kids, the expanding waistlines among Americans are interpreted by experts as “alarming.” Based on a research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 54% of American adults have abdominal obesity. This is higher compared to the 46% abdominal obesity rate recorded in 1999 to 2000. At the same time, women are more affected by this condition, with about two-thirds affected as of 2011 to 2012.

This means more than half of the adults are at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related conditions.

The science behind the belly fat

What might be the possible causes of big bellies? Researchers said that the increase in belly fat can be due to sleep deprivation and certain medicine intake. Researchers are also suggesting exposure to pesticides, plastic additives of BPA and other chemicals that might imitate hormones and make you gain weight. However, this claim is speculative and further studies have to be conducted.

The question now is what does abdominal obesity means.

Aside from making adults look apple-shaped, abdominal obesity means that fat has built deep inside the body, particularly around the liver and other abdominal organs. The “visceral” fat now secretes lower levels of beneficial hormones and higher levels of inflammatory substances that are often linked to obesity-related ailments.

On the semi-brighter side of things, the obesity rate among adults remains at 35%, which means these adults have a BMI of at least 30. Not much has changed but the bottom line is obesity, specifically abdominal obesity is on the rise. Therefore, take time to exercise regularly and start to adopt a healthy, nutritious diet to prevent any obesity-related conditions.

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