FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - Who wants to think about belly fat out at the fair? Not many of us, because chances are, we're adding to it. But even normal weight people should because a new Mayo Clinic study shows people of normal weight but with concentrated belly fat actually have a higher risk of death than the obese.
Sandi Thelen owns Health Strategies which works with companies to help employees improve their health.
As a fitness expert she said, "Seems a little odd. However I'm not surprised, just because people who have belly fat have the body shape of an apple versus a pear shape.
So somebody who is obese and has fat distributed evenly throughout their body, I think it's easier on their organs than having it all surround just the belly." She continued, "Carrying too much weight around the belly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer and it also decreases your lung function."
The author of the study says in addition to knowing your body mass index, you should also know your waist-to-hip ratio to determine how much fat you carry around your middle.
So now the question is how do you get rid of belly fat? You likely already know the answer.
Thelen said its diet and exercise.
Fairgoer Brad Baxter of Hastings recently lost almost 50 pounds. He said, "It seems to be the hardest to get rid of. Fat just seems to disappear from everywhere else. You know, everyone just seems to have a spare tire they can't get rid of."
Thelen said for those with excess belly fat, "They need to be doing 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity at least five days a week. They need to watch their simple sugars."
Thelen said reduce simple sugars, carbs and sodium in your diet.
She said, "Remember, diet pops have a lot of sodium. People don't realize that."
The bottom line is even those of normal weight need to exercise and eat better for the sake of their bellies and overall health.
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