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Fat Distribution Predicts Disease Risk April 25, 2008

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How and where fat is stored predicts disease risk better than weight

AUGUSTA, GA. – (April 25, 2008) – A new study in mice indicates that overeating, rather than the obesity it causes, is the trigger for developing metabolic syndrome, a collection of heath risk factors that increases an individual’s chances of developing insulin resistance, fatty liver, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. How and where the body stores excess, unused calories appears to matter most when determining a person’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggest.

Having an overabundance of belly fat can lead to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to Helena Snider, a registered dietitian at University Hospital. “An accumulation of fat cells in that area has a bad effect on insulin cells,” she said. Type 2 diabetes can lead to a number of health risks, including cardiovascular disease, blindness, nerve damage and kidney damage.

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