Visceral Obesity – What is it? Symptoms, consequences and treatments

According to the World Health Organization, more than 38% of the adult population is overweight and around 15% obese; furthermore, the figure increases by 2 percentage points each year. (1)

Visceral obesity is one of those that means more health risks. Excess fat in the abdomen compresses the principal organs of the body and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular accidents, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. (2)

Read on to find out what visceral obesity is and what its symptoms and treatments are.

What is visceral obesity?

Visceral obesity is a disease caused by increased body weight due to excessive fat accumulation within the abdominal cavity.

This type of obesity is determined by measuring the circumference of the waist. While these parameters must be determined by a doctor, as a general rule, it can be said that if your belly exceeds the width of your hips, we are talking about the presence of a large amount of visceral fat.

Visceral obesity is generally caused by a poor diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle.

The more visceral or internal fat found in the abdominal cavity (and the higher the degree of visceral obesity), the more serious the consequences for health. It deteriorates the cardiovascular system (increases lousy cholesterol and pressure) and increases the risks of injury to the musculoskeletal system and joints.

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How is it determined?

In most cases, visceral obesity is characterized by a change in body proportions: the waist becomes noticeably more comprehensive than the hips.

In addition, the body mass index increases, and the relationship between a person’s weight and height reaches values ​​greater than 30 units.

The main difference between visceral obesity and other types of obesity is an excessive increase in abdominal circumference.

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Body Mass Index – What is it and how is it calculated?

Ideal Body Weight Formula

Subcutaneous Fat: What is it and how to get rid of it?

Health hazards and effects

Studies suggest that visceral fat can cause hormonal changes and metabolic syndrome. This means that it directly affects all the processes in your body.

The higher the degree of visceral obesity, the more likely it is that the values ​​of the hormones insulin, cholesterol, and other metabolic parameters will be affected.

The essential hormone for controlling hunger and satiety, leptin, is explicitly produced in visceral fat, which is why it is so difficult to control appetite in this type of obesity. (2)

In addition to the above, visceral obesity can exacerbate other health problems, remarkably increasing the risk of heart attacks. Furthermore, in the context of alcohol abuse, the risk of fatty liver and cirrhosis also increases³.

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Visceral obesity in men

In men, visceral obesity can lead to the conversion of free testosterone to estrogens. This, in turn, can lead to loss of muscle mass, worsens libido, and can lead to “female type” weight gain, that is, in the thighs and chest.

Among other things, visceral obesity can negatively affect a man’s ability to conceive a child, reducing motility and sperm count and affecting the volume of ejaculation. (4)

In general, in men, visceral obesity is caused by excess fat of poor quality, bad habits, and lack of physical exercise. If you are a man and want to avoid these consequences, you need to consider changing your habits.

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Visceral obesity in women

During menopause, women gain an average of 5 to 7 kg of excess weight. The main reason is a drop in estrogen levels.

At this stage of life, women are at a higher risk of visceral obesity. For this reason, it is at this essential stage of life that they begin to practice some physical activity and take care of themselves at meals.

Women with visceral obesity are recommended to monitor their diet with a nutritionist and walk at least 10,000 steps per day.

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Visceral Obesity – Treatment

The best treatment for visceral obesity is to combine proper nutrition and regular exercise. In this case, the diet must follow healthy eating rules. Attempts to lose weight due to firm food refusal or restrictive diets often have poor long-term results.

In addition, it is essential to know that treatments with supplements or medications to reduce body weight usually have a rebound effect.

To combat visceral obesity, a treatment that emphasizes lifestyle changes is most effective. It should be remembered that obesity is most often caused by a low level of physical activity against the background of excess sugar and saturated fat.

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ABSTRACT

Visceral obesity is a medical problem. The presence of a large amount of fat in the abdominal cavity adversely affects the functioning of the whole body and disrupts the average production of hormones.

To reduce visceral obesity, the best treatment for both men and women is the combination of a healthy eating plan with increased physical activity.

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