Entries in Belly Fat (3)


Obesity Might Lower Cognitive Function in Older Adults, Study Finds

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Older adults with a high body mass index (BMI) and big bellies are more likely to have lower cognitive function than those with a lower BMI, new research suggests.

The study, published in the journal Age and Aging, included 250 people older than 59 who underwent a variety of weight measurement, scans and cognitive performance tests.  People between 60 and 70 with the highest BMIs were linked to the lowest cognitive function.

The Korean study showed a particular association between visceral fat, or fat around the torso, and poor mental performance.

“Aging is characterized by lean body mass loss and adipose tissue increase without weight gain, which may not be captured by BMI, and traditional adiposity measures like BMI are less useful in elderly persons,” said Dr. Dae Hyun Yoon, associate professor of psychiatry at Seoul National University Hospital.

Study results changed in adults older than 70, and the high BMI and large weight circumferences were not associated with cognitive decline.

“A higher BMI is related to lower dementia risk in the oldest old.  It is possible that persons with low BMI lost their weight because of premorbid dementia,” Yoon said.  “It is also possible that a low BMI is the consequence of hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels), which precedes weight loss and is related to higher dementia risk.”

Dr. Ken Fujioka, director of the Center for Weight Management at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, said the results make sense and are on par with what he sees clinically.

“As patients gain central obesity -- that is the key -- they increase their level of inflammatory agents and atherosclerotic agents that will wreck havoc on the brain,” Fujioka said.

While it is unclear whether the participants in the study went on to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, past research has shown that excess fat might play a role in a person’s cognitive decline.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Heart Disease Patients with Belly Fat at Greater Risk of Death

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ROCHESTER, Minn.) -- Abdominal obesity is associated with an increased risk of multiple health problems, including death. 

A new study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., systematically reviewed published data from five studies from around the world and confirmed that, indeed, heart disease patients with abdominal obesity we at a greater risk of death than patients of normal weight.

"Visceral [belly] fat has been found to be more metabolically active," said Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, the study's lead researcher and director of the Mayo Cardiometabolic Program. "It produces more changes in cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.  However, people who have fat mostly in other location in the body, specifically the legs and buttocks, don't show this increased risk."

But the same was not true for overall obesity.  Patients with a high BMI were, strangely, at a lower risk of death.

Study authors advised that doctors look at more than just BMI when assessing the health risks of patients.  The authors also said doctors should recommend that patients with large waistlines lose wait, regardless of normal BMIs.  BMIs between 18.5 and 25 are considered normal, while BMIs between 25 and 29.9 is overweight.  A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

The study is published in latest issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


New Non-Invasive Treatment Freezes Extra Fat Off

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- People seeking to get rid of stubborn belly fat could save a trip to the operating room by opting for a new treatment that literally freezes the pounds right off.

The FDA-approved, one-hour treatment called Zeltiq works by using a vacuum like device that pulls in the extra fat and freezes it.  The fat cells then die over six to eight weeks, producing dramatic results.

"It's incredibly popular," said Dr. Debra Jaliman.  "I mean, first of all, when people first hear about it, they think it's too good to be true.  They can't even believe it.  And then when I explain it, they say, "Does this really work?  But the patients we've done, they've just been ecstatic."

"I've been in dermatology for 25 years," said Jaliman, "and I never expected to see this."

In its ability to target a specific area, Zeltiq is similar to liposuction.  But it's not surgery, and the lack of pain and recovery time has made this one of the hottest treatments, so to speak, that Jaliman offers.  But results are not immediate -- they can take five to eight weeks.

The new treatment is the brainchild of Dr. Rox Anderson of Harvard University and Mass General.  A laser specialist who invented laser hair removal and spends most of his time removing debilitating scars and marks from children, he started wondering about the effects of cold a few years ago.

He thought about two things: Incidents where infants sucked on popsicles for too long and lost the fat in their cheeks, and the fact that butter fat hardens, or freezes for that matter, more quickly than a lot of other things, like skin.  Which means you can kill the fat cells below without doing any damage to your skin.

At this point, the technology is best suited for people with a bit of extra fat.

"So people who are in good shape, who have a healthy diet, they're exercising and they have body fat distribution still that they're not happy with, they are the ideal candidates for this," said Anderson.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio