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Apples and Pears (Fat Belly or Fat Hips)

Storing fat primarily in your belly increases your chances of suffering heart attacks and diabetes.

When you take in more calories than your body needs, your liver turns them into fat. Fat cells in your belly are different from those in your hips. The blood that flows from belly fat goes directly to your liver, whereas the blood that flows from your hips goes into your general circulation. The livers of those who store fat in their bellies are blocked from removing insulin by the extra fat and therefore do not remove insulin from the bloodstream as effectively as the livers of those who store fat in their hips and have less fat in their livers.

People who store fat primarily in their bellies are called apples, while those who store fat primarily in their hips are called pears. The apples have higher blood insulin and sugar levels (2) that raise levels of the bad LDL cholesterol that causes heart attacks, and lower levels of the good HDL cholesterol that prevents heart attacks. See my report on Treatment of Insulin Resistance.

1) HS Kahn, DF Williamson. Abdominal obesity and mortality risk among men in nineteenth-century North America. International Journal of Obesity 18: 10 (OCT 1994):686-691.

2) CE Flodmark, T Sveger, P Nilssonehle. Waist measurement correlates to a potentially atherogenic lipoprotein profile in obese 12-14-year-old children. Acta Paediatrica 83: 9 (SEP 1994):941-945.

Checked 8/9/05

August 22nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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