Belly fat may increase diabetes risk in women more than men

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There is a strong link between deep belly fat (called visceral fat) and chronic health conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Shutterstock

(Don Rauf/ Everyday Health) — Scientists have long known that having too much body fat can be unhealthy. Excess fat can heighten the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But some types of fat may be more dangerous than other types. Harvard Medical School estimates that most fat — about 90 percent — is subcutaneous. This is the visible jiggly fat, sometimes called “love handles,” that lies just beneath the skin.

It’s the other 10 percent, though, called visceral fat, that may lead to the most trouble.

A new large study, published September 9 in the journal Nature Medicine, suggests that this “hidden” fat, which accumulates around the abdominal organs, can play a major role in the development of metabolic and cardiovascular disease, and it poses much more of a health risk to women than men.  (…)

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