Several articles have shown that even if you are not overweight, having excess fat in your belly increases your risk for:
Heart Attacks: Storing fat in your belly is a far stronger predictor of a heart attack than just being overweight (Menopause, August 28, 2019). A study of more than 22 million health records shows that having excess fat in the liver markedly increased risk for heart attacks (Brit Med J, October 09, 2019). People who were not overweight, but had excess fat in their bellies and went on a diet that reduced their calorie intake by 300 calories per day for two years, reduced markers of inflammation and their chances of suffering a heart attack (Eur Heart, June 30, 2019). Those with the lowest percentage of hip fat and highest percentage of belly fat (“apple shape”) had three times the risk for heart disease than those with lowest percentage of belly fat and highest percentage of hip fat (“pear shape”). The researchers concluded that reducing the amount of belly fat by itself helps to reduce heart attack risk significantly, even if you do not reduce the amount of hip fat.
Diabetes: One extra kilo (2.2 pounds) of deep belly fat can increase diabetes risk by seven times in women and two times in men (Nature Medicine, Sept 2019;25:1390–1395). Normal weight people who had excess fat in their livers and used lifestyle changes to get rid of the extra belly fat reduced their chance of suffering heart attacks and diabetes (Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, July 11, 2019).
Inflammation: People who have excess belly fat have increased markers of inflammation and oxidative stress that are associated with increased risk for heart attacks and premature death (Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, February 28, 2019). Excess fat in the liver increases blood levels of some markers of inflammation and a marked increase in plaques in their arteries (Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, May 29, 2019)
More Research on the Dangers of Belly Fat
• Excess belly fat is associated with increased risk for atherosclerosis and heart attacks in newly diagnosed diabetics (Atherosclerosis, October 01, 2019).
• Having excess belly fat is a better predictor for cancer risk than just being overweight (British Journal of Cancer, April 25, 2019). Adding 11cm (4.3″) to a person’s waistline increases risk of obesity-related cancers by 13 per cent. Excess belly fat increases estrogen and testosterone that cause blood insulin to rise, to cause inflammation to increase cancer risk.
• Excess belly fat and lack of buttock fat markedly increased death rate in older men and women (J Bone Miner Res, July, 2019;34(7):1264-1274).
• Having excess belly fat is associated with eating too much refined carbohydrates and sugar, and higher blood sugar levels in adults with cystic fibrosis, a disease characterized by extreme difficulty in absorbing the food that they eat (J Cyst Fibros, May 2019;18(3):430-435).
• Having weak muscles, not exercising, and lack of buttock fat are associated with storing fat primarily in your belly and diabetes (PLoS ONE, Mar 28, 2019;14(3):e0214837).
• Belly fat is full of genes for storing extra fat in your body (Indian J Med Res, 2019;149:616-26).
• A 10-week program of progressive vigorous interval training markedly reduced fat in older adults with excess belly fat (J Am Geriatr Soc, April 23, 2019;67:1625–1631).
Belly Fat Usually Means a Fatty Liver
You can often tell if people have diabetes just by looking at them. A person with a big belly and small buttocks is at very high risk for having a fatty liver and being diabetic, because those who store fat primarily in their bellies are most likely to also store a large amount of fat in the liver. A safe and inexpensive liver sonogram that does not expose you to radiation can show if you have excess fat in your liver (Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, Dec 30, 2015). See Signs of a Fatty Liver
Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes
How Sugar Can Fill Your Liver with Fat
How Eating and Drinking Sugar Can Cause Diabetes