There is a trend these days where many people seem to be advocating against the ‘skinny’ or ‘model’ kind of look, and that is absolutely fine – it is both unhealthy and unrealistic for most. However, the opposite is just as bad. Being severely overweight (having a high body fat percentage) is detrimental to one’s health. The truth is that some types of body fat are more dangerous from a health perspective than others, and the worst type of body fat is known as visceral fat. Visceral fat is abdominal fat that surrounds various internal organs. This is the fat that is stored around the abdominal area. Another name for it is – ectopic fat, which refers to the fact that this is fat accumulation in places where it should not be. When fat is stored in fat cells, it is far more benign because it stays there as stored fat, unless you do something to cause the body to release the stored fat, such as exercise and diet. Visceral fat, on the other hand, is always being released and is linked to insulin resistance, the precursor to type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
You can read more about this in the blog posts – types of body fat.
The main point I want to get across in this post is this – Fat is not just an inactive fat storage tissue. It has been known for a while, that a adipose tissue is highly active inflammatory tissue. More specifically, adipose tissue produces adipokines which are inflammatory compounds. Having systemic inflammation, which can be caused by these adipokines, is strongly linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer as well as degenerative brain disease. Having excess body fat equals to low grade chronic systemic inflammation. This is today recognised to be linked not only to all the above but a vast majority of chronic conditions. It is crucial that we understand this, and not to allow ourselves to think that being overweight is acceptable.