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How do I distinguish between visceral fat and subcutaneous fat?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3041 Questions
General question, and frankly, I don't how much the answer is worth, or anything about your payment scheme. I guess this will become clear. How do I distinguish between visceral fat and subcutaneous fat, and what is a reasonable % of visceral fat(fat/ per body weight to have? My waist to hip ratio is 1.0, which I know involves risk, but I am in XXXXXXX and you wouldn't believe the average guts here.
Posted Thu, 25 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

To start with, for men, a waist - hip ratio of 1 is actually borderline. This implies much effort should be made so it does not go above 1, and keep preferable to keep it below 1. It becomes abnormal when it is greater than 1.

Generally speaking, visceral fat, at times called intra abdominal fat, which actually the fat surrounding XXXXXXX body organs is directly associated more with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus than sub cutaneous fat. Sub cutaneous adipose tissue is found mainly in the thigh and buttock region, anterior wall of the abdomen, the upper limbs. These two types of adipose tissue do not only differ in location, but differ in the manner in which they respond to particular stimuli and biochemical mediators in the body. The result of this differences explain why an increase in visceral fat presents a greater risk to develop heart disease and develop or respond generally poorly to diabetes treatment.

In general, 80% of the fat is sub cutaneous and 10 - 20% is visceral among men. However, the amount of visceral fat increases with age. Interpretation and the decision making process with respect to risk assessment and treatment targets must therefore take into consideration the age of the client.

Thanks and hope this helps. In case you have any other specific questions, I would be most grateful making mu contribution.

Thanks again and kind regards.

Bain LE, MD.
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