How to treat belly fat issues

The Body Mass Index (BMI) has been the standard method for measuring obesity for many years. It's based on the ratio of a person's height to their weight.

Even if Americans are less active, abdominal obesity is growing. Restaurants serve more. Less time means more packaged and fast meals.

Assessing abdominal fat

A waist circumference measurement can estimate abdominal fat. Wrap a tape measure around your torso just above your hip bone. Check the measurement after exhaling.

Women with measurements above 35 inches and males over 40 inches are at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health.

How to lose belly fat

Luckily, abdominal fat may be under control. Diet and exercise are the foundation. Each weight-loss technique lowers belly fat, but regular exercise reduces it more than overall weight.

Further, belly fat reduction lowers heart disease and diabetes risk. UT Southwestern discovered that lowering abdominal fat lowered the likelihood of the most common heart failure in older adults. 

Research next steps

Research at UT Southwestern is investigating how and why fat accumulates in different bodily parts and how to avoid or reverse it. Hormones, including cardiac hormones, can affect us.

Change hormones to reduce abdominal fat. In those with extra belly fat, bariatric surgery may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other medical issues, according to ongoing studies.

Stay tuned for developments.