The dangers of hidden fat: Exercise is your best defense against deep abdominal fat
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center analyzed two types of interventions – lifestyle modification (exercise) and pharmacological (medicine) – to learn how best to defeat fat lying deep in the belly. The study is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
“Visceral fat can affect local organs or the entire body system. Systemically it can affect your heart and liver, as well as abdominal organs,” said senior author and cardiologist Dr. Ian J. Neeland, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. “When studies use weight or body mass index as a metric, we don’t know if the interventions are reducing fat everywhere in the body, or just near the surface.”
To find out, the researchers evaluated changes in visceral fat in 3,602 participants over a 6-month period measured by a CT or MRI exam. Both exercise and medicines resulted in less visceral fat, but the reductions were more significant per pound of body weight lost with exercise.