The Villages is a great reflection of American culture as we have many wonderful eating establishments, and access to exercise facilities everywhere we look. Yet our American population has never been so well fed, yet so unhealthy.

Visceral fat is around your middle, surrounding and invading the vital organs, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, which lies under the skin, on top of muscle. Subcutaneous fat gives you additional additional hips and thighs and excess in the upper arms.  Visceral fat gives you a “spare tire.” Men tend to store fat in their bellies more than women. 

With visceral fat, forget about using a bathroom scale as a diagnostic tool. A recent study revealed body weight alone no longer tells you how big your health risk is. You need to look at WHERE you carry your fat.  The more that settles in your middle section, the worse off you are.

Thanks to all the new information, doctors are discovering how fat attacks your body and raises your risk for hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.  Visceral fat surrounds and inhibits the function of the important organs in your body, especially the liver.  It also sets off a chain reaction in your body that is hard to reverse.  You eat more food than you should and your body stores the excess calories as FAT, hoping to be used as energy later.

As fat increases in the tissues, it slows down the liver’s response to insulin, a hormone that tells the body to move fats and carbohydrates into cells.  The pancreas than must produce more insulin to get the liver to respond.  This is called insulin resistance, and is the start of a chain reaction that leads to high blood pressure and rising triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood.

Bang – your pancreas says “enough is enough” and shuts down production.  Suddenly, you don’t have the insulin you need to keep the blood sugar in check. Blood sugar levels skyrocket….resulting Type II diabetes.