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Belly fat: It’s not only your self-esteem at risk.

While the link between obesity and health problems has long been known, new studies reveal that belly fat can be dangerous for everyone, even those with an overall healthy weight.

In the study, normal-weight men with large middle areas were twice as likely to die than men who were obese. Women in the normal-weight, big belly group were more than 30% likely to die than their obese counterparts.

Just how much belly is a problem?

Central obesity in men is defined as a waist to hip ratio of 0.9; for women, the number is 0.85.

One reason belly fat is more dangerous that overall fat is because it often accumulates in the liver, leading to diabetes and heart disease. This study suggests that BMI is not an accurate determinant of risk; a better measure is evaluating the amount of fat in each section of the body, particularly in the abdomen.

For more information, read the complete article here.

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