The fat stored within the abdominal cavity is known as 'visceral' or 'belly fat', while the fatty tissue lying directly under the skin is known as 'subcutaneous fat'. Experts have revealed that belly fat can do more harm to health than subcutaneous fat. Belly fat can cause conditions such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease and is associated with abnormal lipid profiles and insulin resistance.
Vandana Luthra, founder of VLCC, an Indian wellness brand, said, "As many as 30% of people who come to us for weight loss are unaware of underlying medical conditions such as hypertension, hypothyroid, diabetes, hyperinsulinemia and arthritis, which need immediate medical attention."
‘The fat stored within the abdominal cavity can do more harmful that the fat lying directly under the skin. It significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, sleep apnea and certain cancers.’
Given that it is 'hidden', visceral fat is difficult to measure using traditional methods and is, therefore, rampant in Indians as compared to their western counterparts.
A recent study by Annaswamy Raji, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
, showed that Indians have significantly more total abdominal and visceral fat for any given body mass index (BMI) as compared with Caucasians.
VLCC conducted a study on more than 1.5 lakh people to find that its clients had high visceral fat levels with an average of 14 instead of a high normal of 10.
This significantly increases their risk of cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, sleep apnea and certain cancers.
VLCC said, "Even a reduction of 5-10% of body weight can result in a reduction of 10% to 30% of abdominal fat."