Regular readers of this blog will know that I often post about the impacts that obesity is having in world. Obesity is linked to so many illnesses and diseases and in fact in August alone I posted about:
- Obesity Increases Breast Cancer Recurrence
- Diabetes Soars in Obese Britain
- Obese Teenagers Have a Higher Risk for Gallstones
- Obesity is Bad for Sperm
- Does Being Fat Make You Stupid?
Does being skinny make you healthy?
With so many illnesses and diseases linked to obesity you might think that being skinny is a sure fire way to good health, but sadly you could be VERY wrong.
“Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat” said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. There is an old saying of “its what’s on the inside that counts” and it appears this may also be true for fat. The fat most people talk about is subcutaneous fat, located beneath the skin but there is another type of fat we should all be concerned about, visceral fat, that is found around our internal organs.
Between 1994 and 2007, Dr. Bell and his team scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create “fat maps” showing where people store fat. According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. “The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined,” said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council.
Without a clear warning signal — like a rounder middle — doctors worry that thin people may be lulled into falsely assuming that because they’re not overweight, they’re healthy.
“Just because someone is lean doesn’t make them immune to diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease,” said Dr. Louis Teichholz, chief of cardiology at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey, who was not involved in Bell’s research.
Even people with normal Body Mass Index scores — a standard obesity measure that divides your weight by the square of your height — can have surprising levels of fat deposits inside. Of the women scanned by Bell and his colleagues, as many as 45 percent of those with normal BMI scores (20 to 25) actually had excessive levels of internal fat. Among men, the percentage was nearly 60 percent.
Personally I am not a fan of BMI, after all it says Brad Pitt and Russell Crowe are overweight and the muscular frame boasted by rugby star Jonny Wilkinson gets him classed as obese!
Relating the news to what Bell calls “TOFIs” — people who are “thin outside, fat inside” — is rarely uneventful. “The thinner people are, the bigger the surprise,” he said, adding the researchers even found TOFIs among people who are professional models.
According to Bell, people who are fat on the inside are essentially on the threshold of being obese. They eat too many fatty, sugary foods — and exercise too little to work it off — but they are not eating enough to actually be fat. Scientists believe we naturally accumulate fat around the belly first, but at some point, the body may start storing it elsewhere.
Year Without Beer
Never mind the Olympics, 2012 is my Year Without Beer! I am spending all 366 days of this leap year alcohol free in an attempt to raise money for 2 charities that are both very close to my heart.
If giving up all alcohol for a year isn’t enough of a challenge to make you dig deep and show your support, I also plan to run 500 miles! As part of my running challenge I am signed up to run a quarter marathon, 10 mile road race (Great South Run) and 8 mile off road challenge (The Grim Original).
If you want to show some love them please donate to my year without beer and give your support to one of these fantastic causes:
- To donate to Cancer Research UK please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB66 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB66 £5″ will donate £5.
- To donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB55 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB55 £5″ will donate £5.