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Dangerous Hidden Fat
Photo: Birgit Reitz-hofmann
The more time you spend in the car, on the couch, or at the computer, the more fat you invite into your abdominal home. Visceral fat—the fat underneath your stomach muscles—pumps out hormones such as leptin, adiponectin, and IGF (insulin-like growth factor) that can cause trouble. This is the fat more closely tied to diabetes, heart disease, and colon, liver, pancreatic, and kidney cancers.


In a six-month study of 175 overweight, sedentary men and women; one group walked 12 miles a week, a second jogged 12 miles a week, and a third group jogged 20 miles a week. A fourth group remained inactive. Visceral fat fell 7 percent in those who jogged 20 miles, but didn’t change in those who walked or jogged 12 miles. The real surprise? The visceral fat of those who stayed inactive increased 9 percent.

What seems to matter is how many calories you burn when you exercise. But what matters most is that you get off you derriere.

Nutrition Action Health Letter

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, March/April 2008. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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