Belly Fat, Associated Health Risk & How to Overcome It

Belly fat is the fat present around the abdomen. They are of two types

Muffin top, Potbelly, family pack or tyres we have heard these comments and laughed about this over and over again. When I was growing up people in my class would often call me gummy bear but we would just fun and completely neglected the fact that there may be a reason why I was fat? While growing indulgence and having a deep loving relationship with our food, we tend to neglect the most important part of our tummy. You must be thinking fat is stored everywhere so why people are concerned only about those love handles or bellies.

The dangerous belly fat:

Belly fat is the fat present around the abdomen. They are of two types – Visceral fat (surrounding the person’s organs) and subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin). Health complications are more harmful from visceral fat than from subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat secretes more of adipokines, a chemical that triggers inflammation and releases more fatty acids in the bloodstream.  Whereas, the subcutaneous layers of fat store fatty acids within themselves and doesn’t push them into the circulation.

Women have greater body fat percentages than men. Women carry more fat around the legs, hip and buttocks, and also in the chest and upper arms. They have more subcutaneous fat than fat which pinches under your skin. While men have more of visceral fat, that is stored in and around the abdominal organs. The fat cells around the hips and legs are more passive and release fewer chemicals into the body.

Excess belly fat can increase the risk of developing -

  • heart disease
  • heart attacks
  • high blood pressure
  • stroke
  • type 2 diabetes
  • asthma
  • breast cancer
  • colon cancer
  • Alzheimer's disease

The fat cells in a healthy person grow and help the inflammatory cells reduce the inflammation and remodel to grow into a healthy body. But in the case of fat tissue these mechanism doesn’t function and due to which the body becomes more resistant to hormone insulin and maintain blood sugar.

Culprits of belly fat:

1. Poor diet

Foods like cakes and candy, and drinks like soda and fruit juice, can lead to weight increase, slow metabolism and reduce the ability to burn fat.

Foods which are low protein, the high carbohydrate may affect weight. Proteins help in staying fuller for longer.

The American Heart Association recommends that trans fat should be replaced with whole grains, mono, and polyunsaturated fats.

2. Too much alcohol

Consumption of excess alcohol can leads to health problems like liver disease and inflammation. Reports show that males gain more weight around the bellies.

3. Lack of exercise

Intake of excess calorie and not burning enough will lead to excess fat especially in the abdomen.

4. Stress

Cortisol is the hormone that helps in dealing with stress. During stress, the person often consumes excess food leading to excess calories and storage of fat.

5. Genetics

Genetics play role in genes behavior, metabolism and also causing illness like obesity

6. Poor sleep

Lack of sleep is linked to weight gain as it is linked to unhealthy eating patterns and therefore increase the belly fat.

Overcoming belly fat:

  1. Improving diet – it will have a positive effect on overall health.
  2. Reducing alcohol consumption – when trying to reduce weight alcoholic drinks should be reduced as they are more in calories.
  3. Increasing work out – start doing aerobics, strength training, cardio, and high-intensity training which will help in reducing weight.
  4. Improve sleeping pattern
  5. Reduce stress

It’s not difficult to start following healthy practices. For the amount of work and pressure that our body goes through the least we can do is to maintain it healthy and give it what it deserves.




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