Tight shirt over man's big belly

It’s a well-known fact that being overweight or obese increases your risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. However, this doesn’t mean that slimmer people are unlikely to develop such conditions.

In fact, even if you’re generally trim, you still need to watch out for an excess of visceral fat, or fat around the internal organs. Dr Ian Phoon, Associate Consultant from SingHealth Polyclinics—Pasir Ris, a member of the SingHealth group, explained more about this “thin outside, fat inside” phenomenon.

Related: Will Running Solve My Pot Belly Problem?

Why Should You Be Wary of Belly Fats?

Visceral Fat

“Visceral fat is fat that you may not see, but accumulates around your organs. Visceral fat is more dangerous since it results in greater insulin resistance compared to subcutaneous fat, or fat under the skin,” said Dr Phoon.

Insulin resistance is when the body produces insulin, but is unable to properly use it to control blood sugar. Glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood, leading to diabetes.

“Although men have lesser overall percentage body fat than women, they tend to accumulate their fat in the abdominal area, while women generally have more fat in their hips and thighs. However, women who have given birth or who have menopause are more prone to fat in the abdomen than other women,” added Dr Phoon.

Read on to find out how BMI can measure visceral fat and your risk of diabetes.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 39, find out your risk by taking the Diabetes Risk Assessment. Take the first step towards beating diabetes.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.


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