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04.08.2014
Share On FacebookShare on TwitterVisceral fat is described as body fat that is stored in the abdominal cavity. The best way to measure your own fat is to take a circumference measurement of the waist and hip. Ultimately in order for the visceral fat to stay off, you also need to combine your efforts with the right diet.
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It only needs a daily excess of energy of 100 kilocalories (the equivalent of a small chocolate bar) to lead to an increase of around 5Kg of fat over 12 months or 50 Kg over 10 years. A new study by Paul von Hippel and Ramzi Nahhas looks at 60 years of data on child obesity and finds that the increase in obesity rates started with children born in the 1970s and 1980s.
65% of the world’s population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. Growing rates of maternal overweight are leading to higher risks of pregnancy complications, and heavier birth weight and obesity in children.
More than half of the obese people have obstructive sleep apnea, which can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and road traffic accidents. Obesity and overweight are major causes of death worldwide—the fifth leading risk for global deaths, in fact. Before the 20th century, obesity was rare; in 1997 the WHO formally recognized obesity as a global epidemic.
In recent years, the number of overweight people in industrialized countries has increased significantly, so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called obesity an epidemic.
A few decades ago, the average weight gain was a half a pound per year and researchers at the time were alarmed.  Today, the average adult gains one or two pounds each year, over a lifetime. Most policy makers do not yet understand that the obesity epidemic is a normal population response to the dramatic reduction in the demand for physical activity and the major changes in the food supply of countries over the last 40 years. There are striking differences in both gender and ethnicity when it comes to rates of obesity. Most people, when they hear the word “hunger,” form a mental picture of a skin-and-bones person living in Sudan or India.
A study was conducted to ascertain the cultural perceptions of weight, particularly among women.
For centuries, the human race struggled to overcome food scarcity, disease, and a hostile environment. Until the last decades of the 19th century, developed countries were still struggling with poverty, malnutrition, and communicable diseases. During the 20th century, as populations from better-off countries began to approach their genetic potential for longitudinal growth, they began to gain proportionally more weight than height, with the resulting increase in average BMI. Until relatively recently, obesity was considered a condition associated with high socioeconomic status.
The emergence of obesity in developing countries initially affected primarily the higher socioeconomic strata of the population.
Of the multiple causal factors associated with the rise in obesity in developing countries, perhaps the two most important are urbanization and globalization of food production and marketing. Francine Kaufman traced the differing environments of the child of 40,000 years ago through that experienced today. If you think back for a million years up to 10 to 12 thousand years ago, all that we consumed as a race of hominins, and later Homo sapiens, is water, after maybe consuming for a year or two or three breast milk in infancy. For the last 12 years, the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University has been giving rhesus macaque monkeys diets made up of 35 percent fat (typical of the Western diet) to better understand diet-induced obesity in human adults.
The figure above shows DEXA scans, which are used to measure body composition, show a rhesus macaque whose weight and body fat are normal, left, and an obese monkey on the right.
Obesity should be defined as excess body fat or adipose tissue; it is this, not weight which is associated with the comorbid conditions.
As Asian populations develop negative health consequences at a lower BMI than Caucasians, some nations have redefined obesity; the Japanese have defined obesity as any BMI greater than 25 while China uses a BMI of greater than 28. Bariatrics — The branch of medicine that deals with the prevention and treatment of obesity and related disorders. Hyperplastic obesity — Excessive weight gain in childhood, characterized by the creation of new fat cells. Hypertrophic obesity — Excessive weight gain in adulthood, characterized by expansion of already existing fat cells. Ideal weight — Weight corresponding to the lowest death rate for individuals of a specific height, gender, and age. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or more, thus it includes pre-obesity defined as a BMI between 25 and 30 and obesity as defined by a BMI of 30 or more.
Obesity has been called many things — an epidemic, a major public health problem, a chronic disorder, a chronic condition — but is it a disease? Negative side effect of the AMA decision is that the word “disease” is often misinterpreted as meaning that a person has no control over the condition.  Critics say that obesity should not be called a “disease” because it is a result of lifestyle choices which people should be able to easily control.
The latest study suggests that the one-third of Americans who are obese they may not be getting the proper health care they need — because their doctors are biased against treating them.
An article reviews information on discriminatory attitudes and behaviors against obese individuals, integrates this to show whether systematic discrimination occurs and why, and discusses needed work in the field. When asked whether the participants believed their weight might be considered normal, around half said yes.
Scientists including an Indian researcher have suggested that whether a person believes that his or her obesity was caused by overeating or by lack of exercise predicts their actual body mass. Although body weight, particularly at very high levels, tends to be associated with adiposity, weight alone is an insufficient measure of obesity, because it is correlated with height. Overweight and obesity are defined by the World Health Organization using the body mass index (BMI). The formula for BMI was devised by Belgian mathematician, Adolphe Quetelet, between 1830 and 1850. This graph shows the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat (%BF) for 8550 men in NCHS’ NHANES 1994 data. BMI is particularly inaccurate for people who are fit or athletic, as the higher muscle mass tends to put them in the overweight category by BMI, even though their body fat percentages frequently fall in the 10–15% category, which is below that of a more sedentary person of average build who has a normal BMI number. BMI also does not account for body frame size; a person may have a small frame and be carrying more fat than optimal, but their BMI reflects that they are normal. In 1997 when WHO initiated the formation of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), the Task Force proposed the cut-offs for overweight and obesity as BMI 25 and BMI 30, respectively. However, lower thresholds for waist circumference have been recommended for Asian populations by the World Health Organization due to recent research findings. Locate the top of the hip bone (iliac crest) and take the measurement just above this bony landmark, just where one finger can fit between the iliac crest and the lowest rib.
Measuring at a level just above the iliac crest, and positioning the tape horizontally, irrespective of whether the umbilicus is above or below the tape, provides the correct waist circumference measurement and should correspond to the maximal abdominal diameter.
Aim to have a snug but not too tight a fit of the tape measure around your waist; do not make compressions in the skin with the tape measure. Accuracy can be improved by using a specially designed abdominal circumference tape measure.
It important to recognize when referring to waist circumference measurement, that this should not be considered to be the same as belt size in inches!
Your waist should be no more than half the length of your height, according to experts who claim that having too large a trouser size can dramatically shorten your lifespan. Waist–hip ratio or waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is the ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips. The skin at several specific points on the body is pinched and the thickness of the resulting fold is measured.
A small electrical current is passed through the body to measure its electrical resistance. Considered one of the more accurate methods of measuring body fat, this technique involves complete submersion of a person in water, with special equipment to measure the person’s weight while submerged.
Originally developed to measure bone density, DEXA imaging has also come to be used as a precise way to determine body fat content by using the density of various body tissues to identify which portions of the body are fat. The body volume index (BVI) was devised in 2000 as a computer, rather than manual, measurement of the human body for obesity and an alternative to the BMI. Ultrasound is used extensively to measure tissue structure and has proven to be an accurate technique to measure subcutaneous fat thickness. The most accurate method for measuring central obesity is through the use of magnetic resonance imaging or computer-assisted tomographic scanning. Table below describes the main techniques which have been adopted to measure fat in human subjects. If the density (weight per unit volume) of a human body is known, then the relative proportions of fat and fat-free mass can be estimated using an equation such as those of Siri  or Lohman.
Weighs the subject while submerged in a large tank (having exhaled maximally) and also outside the tank. Based on Archimedes’ principle (buoyancy law) that if the density of an object exceeds that of water, it will sink. Early plethysmographs were complex, inconvenient and required temperature-controlled surroundings.
A series of transverse scans, via low energy x-ray beams, progress inch-by-inch across the body and are collected by an external detector. The beams are differentially absorbed by the various different tissues (fat, bone, etc) in the body.
Can be used to calculate fat and fat-free mass, and both total and regional body composition in subjects over a wide range of ages and body sizes. Conductors are attached to the subject’s body, and a low, safe, current is sent through.
Although less accurate than more sophisticated measurements, some current analyzers are relatively inexpensive, portable, simple and quick, meaning BIA can now be used in the field and with large samples. Subcutaneous (but not internal) fat is measured by firmly grasping a fold of skin with calipers and raising it, with no muscle included. Cheap and fairly simple, but the need to partially undress may put some subjects off, leading to bias. Ideally measured using a flexible plastic tape with a sprung handle to ensure reproducible levels of tension. WC reflects total and abdominal fat levels, and as an indicator of adiposity is not greatly influenced by height.
A larger WHR in adults indicates relatively larger amounts of abdominal fat and has been used to describe body fat distribution. 1) Subcutaneous fat is below the surface of the skin and can be pinched with fingers, or calipers when measuring body fat. 2) Visceral belly fat is inside the abdominal wall, below the muscles and can’t be measured with calipers. Abdominal obesity, also known as belly fat or clinically as central obesity is excessive abdominal fat around the stomach and abdomen. The manner in which fat is distributed in the body is important, as it has been found that fat which is stored in and around internal organs (such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas and heart) tends to be significantly more harmful than fat which is stored peripherally, particularly in the form of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat. David was one of 25 obese men and women involved in a pioneering study on this type of fat. This basically means that you must consume fewer calories than you are going to burn off in a day. Their results lined up pretty well with the conventional wisdom, suggesting that the obesity epidemic is not particularly old but took off in the 1980s.They found that child obesity rates were low and stable among children born in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and part of the 70s, and then rose rapidly through the 1980s and 1990s. As of 2008 the WHO estimates that at least 500 million adults (greater than 10%) are obese, with higher rates among women than men. Researchers at the University of North Carolina present a report from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, that sheds a light on obesity. And overweight is increasing and underweight is decreasing, so the figures are splitting and the estimate of 1.3 billion is at the lowest level. Brown and Sweeney write: An important recent ethnography of Azawagh Arabs of Niger entitled Feeding Desire (Popenoe, 2004) illustrates these cultural notions to an extreme degree. With the onset of the industrial revolution, the great powers understood that increasing the average body size of the population was an important social and political factor.
By the year 2000, the human race reached a sort of historical landmark, when for the first time in human evolution the number of adults with excess weight surpassed the number of those who were underweight. Indeed, early in the 20th century, most populations in which obesity became a public health problem were in the developed world, primarily the United States and Europe. But more recent trends show a shift in prevalence from the higher to the lower socioeconomic level. Urban dwelling has a profound effect on energy balance, particularly on energy expenditure. Shiva belongs to a colony of monkeys whose diets have been overloaded with fat and sugars by scientists studying the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Studies from various parts of the world have estimated that between 22 and 44 per cent of dogs are overweight or obese, and these figures are similar for cats.
A person whose weight is over 20 percent greater than what is considered normal for their gender, height, and age is considered obese. Pre obese and overweight however are often used interchangeably thus giving overweight a common definition of a BMI of between 25 -30.  As much as 64% of the United States adult population is considered either overweight or obese. The American Medical Association (AMA), the largest physician organization in the nation, has recently decided that it is.
This reflects a poor understanding of human behavior.  Behavior is not out of our control, but it is not always easy to control either. The study, published in the Journal of Academic Medicine, shows that two out of five medical students have a subconscious bias against obese people. Anecdotes abound about overweight individuals being ridiculed by teachers, physicians, and complete strangers in public settings, such as supermarkets, restaurants, and shopping areas.
Clear and consistent stigmatization, and in some cases discrimination, can be documented in three important areas of living: employment, education, and health care.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese.
Researchers Brent McFerran of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and Anirban Mukhopadhyay of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology discovered from an initial survey that people seem to subscribe to one of two major beliefs about the primary cause of obesity. This is the easiest and most common method, but by far the least accurate, as it only measures one quantity (weight) and often does not take into account many factors such as height, body type, and relative amount of muscle mass. BMI is a measure of body size and is used to indicate level of risk for morbidity (disease risk) and mortality (death rates) at the population level.
He warned that the calculation was only meant to be used for large diagnostic studies on general populations and was not accurate for individuals.
Because the BMI formula depends only upon weight and height, its assumptions about the distribution between lean mass and adipose tissue are inexact. The BMI is not always accurate in elderly adults, who have often lost muscle and bone mass.
Conversely, a large framed individual may be quite healthy with a fairly low body fat percentage, but be classified as overweight by BMI. If we accept the criteria of BMI ? 30 to indicate obesity, it would appear that the prevalence of obesity in Japan of less than 3% has changed little during the last 40 years, and we cannot explain the rapid increase in incidence of obesity-associated chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. It is calculated the same way as for adults, but then compared to typical values for other children of the same age.
Waist circumference is one of the most practical tools to assess abdominal fat for chronic disease risk and during weight loss treatment. A constant-tension spring-loaded tape device reduces errors from over-enthusiastic tightening during measurement and improves accuracy and consistency of serial measurements. Men in particular can have a relatively normal belt size, yet can have a significantly increased abdominal circumference above the belt-line. Researchers from Oxford Brookes University examined data on patients whose BMI and waist to height ratio were measured in the 1980s. According to the World Health Organization’s data gathering protocol, the waist circumference should be measured at the midpoint between the lower margin of the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest, using a stretch?resistant tape that provides a constant 100 g tension. This measures the thickness of the layers of fat located under the skin, from which a general measurement of total amount of fat in the body is calculated. As fat and muscle conduct electricity differently, this method can provide a direct measurement of the body fat percentage, in relation to muscle mass.
This test is generally considered to be very accurate, but requires a great deal of expensive medical equipment and trained professionals to perform.


Body volume index uses 3D software to create an accurate 3D image of a person so BVI can differentiate between people with the same BMI rating, but who have a different shape and different weight distribution.  BVI measures where a person’s weight and the fat are located on the body, rather than total weight or total fat content and places emphasis on the weight carried around the abdomen, commonly known as central obesity. Given two people of equivalent weight outside the tank, the one with more fat, which is less dense than water, will weigh less in water than the one with more fat-free tissue (such as bone and muscle) which is more dense than water.
A simple, quick automated plethysmograph  has been available since mid 1990s, but is still limited to research settings. MRI – uses a strong magnetic field and a radio wave antenna which sends signals to the body and then receives them back. Electrodes are generally placed at wrist and ankle; an increasingly commonly used analyzer requires subjects to stand on it in bare feet and hold a handgrip in each hand. Since a potential source of error is incorrectly positioning the tape, the measurement site is generally specified by reference to specific anatomic landmarks. It has also recently been suggested that the ratio of waist to height could be used as a rapid screening tool. However it is influenced by several other bodily factors and there is some evidence that it is a poorer measure of body fat distribution in children. Losing visceral fat will decrease your waist circumference and make you look much leaner around the middle, but it won’t get rid of fat at the umbilical or suprailiac—that’s subcutaneous fat. It can also occur in both children and teenagers if either of their parents have abdominal obesity. They were scanned using ultra-sensitive 3D MRI before and after a three-month program, which involved exercise, a low-fat diet and an over-the- counter slimming pill. Bioelectrical Impedance Machines which use an electrical current that can differentiate between fat and muscle can also be used. In this kit you also have Total Control which helps boost metabolism and Cell-U-Loss to support the appearance of healthy skin and the healthy elimination of water. This aptly named program contains the entire collection of Advance program products, plus added enhancers to help boost metabolism, rev up your energy and fight hunger. Unlike Komlos and Brabec, they did not find evidence that the obesity epidemic was underway earlier. The rate of obesity also increases with age at least up to 50 or 60 years old and severe obesity in the United States, Australia, and Canada is increasing faster than the overall rate of obesity.
Approximately 60 million Americans, nearly one-third of all adults and about one in five children are obese.  Researchers at Harvard predict that obesity rates will reach 42% over the next few years. Experts are putting forward all sorts of reasons why Mexico recently became more obese than the United States — and one of the most overweight countries in the world.
Thus, the changes in food supply and physical environment are socioeconomically driven, and the health sector simply picks up the consequences.
By age 36, in this survey, around 26 per cent of US men and 28 per cent of women are already obese. A common form of malnutrition, called “over-nutrition,” is often seen in countries where there is an abundance of fatty foods with plenty of sugar — like those found on a typical American fast food menu. The Indian surgeon Sushruta (6th century BCE) related obesity to diabetes and heart disorders. Here, fatness to the point of voluptuous immobility is encouraged by systematic over-eating in order to hasten puberty, enhance sexuality, and ripen girls for marriage. The military and economic might of countries was critically dependent on the body size and strength of their young generations, from which soldiers and workers were drawn.
In the first decades of the 20th century, studies of poor children indicated that dietary energy supplementation (adding sugar and fat to the usual diet) improved growth, which became an important approach to reduce malnutrition and improve industrial productivity. In more recent decades, available data show that the most dramatic increases in obesity are in developing countries such as Mexico, China, and Thailand. For example, national surveys in Brazil found that while in 1989 obesity in adults was more prevalent in the higher socioeconomic status, 10 years later the higher prevalence was observed among the lower socioeconomic status.
On the energy output side, urban living is usually associated with lower energy demands compared with rural life.
Approximately one-third of energy intake came from animal protein, typically low in associated fat because animals hunted for meat (as opposed to the high fructose feeds currently used for livestock which greatly increase the saturated fat content of these foods).
In a recent issue of AnthroNotes, produced by Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, anthropologists Peter J. Then all of a sudden you get wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages which we had since around 10,000 B.C. Like many American adults these days, Shiva sits around too much, eats rich, fatty food and drinks sugary sodas. Rates of overweight in dogs in the United States range from 23 to 41% with about 5.1% obese.
A person may be overweight from extra muscle, bone, or water, as well as from having too much fat. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health.
Studies of children and adolescents which have examined the relationship between percentage of body fat calculated from skinfold measurements and indicators of biomedical status such as blood pressure and blood lipids, have suggested 30% fat in females and 20–25% in males. WHO defines overweight as a BMI equal to or more than 25, and obesity as a BMI equal to or more than 30. While the negative health outcomes associated with obesity are accepted within the medical community, the health implications of the overweight category are more controversial.
In the study of more than 6,000 Americans with normal body size and body mass index, the doctors showed that people don’t have to be overweight to have excess body fat. The bias may not be overt, but it can have serious implications for the patient’s health once they leave the doctor’s office.
This means that a majority of people are probably not completely aware of their own physical health. McFerran said that there was a clear demarcation, as some people overwhelmingly implicated poor diet, and a roughly equal number implicated lack of exercise. BMI doesn’t distinguish between body fat and muscle mass, which weighs more than fat. Instead of set thresholds for underweight and overweight, then, the BMI percentile allows comparison with children of the same sex and age. A high waist circumference or a greater level of abdominal fat is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. When measuring waist circumference it is important not to be tempted to measure around the narrower part of the abdomen situated below the umbilicus. Twenty years later, death rates among the group were much more closely linked to participants’ earlier waist-to-height ratio than their BMI, suggesting it is a more useful tool for identifying health risks at an early stage. Hip circumference should be measured around the widest portion of the buttocks, with the tape parallel to the floor.
This method can be reasonably accurate for many people, but it does assume particular patterns for fat distribution over the body which may not apply to all individuals, and does not account for fat deposits which may not be directly under the skin.
In the past, this technique could only be performed reliably by trained professionals with specialized equipment, but it is now possible to buy home testing kits which allow people to do this themselves with a minimum of training. As fat is less dense than muscle, careful application of this technique can provide a reasonably close estimate of fat content in the body. By making thickness measurements at multiple sites on the body you can calculate the estimated body fat percentage.
Foot-to-foot BIA measures the impedance of the lower body and only requires the subject to stand on pad electrodes. But a growing midsection can be because of both types. Carrying a high amount of visceral fat is known to be associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to glucose intolerance.
The heart rate and breathing increases as a means to transport oxygen to the fat stores where it can be used to break it down.
The increase of convenience foods, labor-saving devices, motorized transport and more sedentary jobs means people are getting fatter.
They did see some evidence that girls (but not boys) were getting a bit heavier before 1960, but significant numbers of girls didn’t break into the obese category until after 1980. Once considered a problem only of high-income countries, obesity rates are rising worldwide and affecting both the developed and developing world.
By 2020, 75% of Americans will be overweight or obese. In Canada, about 40% to 60% of adults have a weight problem.
Also, obese people consistently under-report their food consumption as compared to people of normal weight. For some unknown reason, black women become obese more than twice as fast as white women, with the rate for Hispanic women being about mid-way between these. In a book, Burlingame said that 925 million people suffer from hunger, while 1.5 billion people are considered overweight or obese.
In modern Western culture, excess weight is often regarded as unattractive, and obesity is commonly associated with various negative stereotypes. The people believe that women’s bodies should be fleshy and laced with stretch-marks in order to contrast with thin, male bodies.  Men, too, feel the need to gain weight in some cultures. Moving the body mass index (BMI) distribution of the population from the underweight range toward normality had an important impact on survival and productivity, playing a central role in the economic development of industrialized societies. An influential proponent of improving health and nutrition of the working class as a means to improve overall economic productivity was Boyd-Orr, who later became the founding director of the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The global nature of the obesity epidemic was formally recognized by a World Health Organization consultation in 1997. This change increasingly results in the existence of households with an undernourished child and an overweight adult, a situation called the “dual burden” of disease. The energy-intense manual labor typical of rural areas may be replaced by a sedentary desk or sidewalk job.
Half of energy intake was from high-fiber fruits and vegetables, gathered close to home, and the remainder of the diet was high in polyunsaturated fats. Brown and Jennifer Sweeney use culture to explore the behaviors and beliefs in societies that influence weight. You can have normal weight but excessive fat (normal weight obesity) and you may be overweight and yet have normal fat.
The causes of obesity may include genetics, poor diet, lack of exercise, and different underlying illnesses and conditions. There is also evidence of ethnic differences, for example, South Asian people appear to be sensitive to the metabolic consequences of obesity at lower levels than white people. The generally accepted view is that being overweight causes similar health problems to obesity, but to a lesser degree.
Their bodies are normal in weight, but they have too much hidden fat and not enough muscle.
American Medical Association’s 2013 classification of obesity as chronic disease, it is thought that health insurance companies will more likely pay for obesity treatment, counseling and surgery, and the cost of research and development of fat treatment pills or gene therapy treatments should be more affordable if insurers help to subsidize their cost.
For example, a host of genetically-driven neurobiological variations influence appetite and even our experience of a food as palatable.
In another study published in the journal Preventive Medicine, researchers documented the close relationship between how doctors think about obesity and how they treat it. Overweight people tell stories of receiving poor grades in school, being denied jobs and promotions, losing the opportunity to adopt children, and more. There are also suggestions but not yet documentation of discrimination occurring in adoption proceedings, jury selection, housing, and other areas.
Many Americans don’t quite understand the full long-term consequences of obesity, according to results from the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey. BMI was explicitly cited by Keys as being appropriate for population studies, and inappropriate for individual diagnosis. For example, a chart may say the ideal weight for a man 5 ft 10 in (178 cm) is 165 pounds (75 kg). This cut-off has been proposed for use in the Asia-Oceania Region, and WHO Western Pacific Region noted this proposal. A BMI that is less than the 5th percentile is considered underweight and above the 95th percentile is considered obese for people 20 and under. Waist circumference may be a better indicator of health risk than BMI alone, especially when used in combination with BMI.
Using the anatomical landmark of the iliac crest and ensuring that measurement is taken on a horizontal plane just above this level provides the most accurate, reliable and reproducible technique for waist circumference measurement. By comparing the life expectancies of various groups of people at different waist-to-height ratios, they were able to calculate how many years of life were lost as people’s waistlines increased.
Also, as the measurement and analysis generally involves a high degree of practice and interpretation, for an accurate result it must be performed by a professional and cannot generally be done by patients themselves. Despite the improved simplicity of this process over the years, however, there are a number of factors which can affect the results, including hydration and body temperature, so it still needs some care when taking the test to ensure that the results are accurate. This technique does, however, require expensive specialized equipment and trained professionals to administer it properly.
Ultrasound techniques can also be used to directly measure muscle thickness and quantify intramuscular fat. As Table below demonstrates, the majority of these methods are complex and limited to research setting. An alternative is to add skinfolds from a variety of sites, generally representing both peripheral and trunk areas. Visceral and central abdominal fat and waist circumference show a strong association with type 2 diabetes.
These shapes become more obvious and pronounced in the overweight and obese categories of BMI. What surprised researchers was that the rate that visceral fat is shed is significantly greater than for overall body weight.
It was not until the 20th century that it became common, so much so that in 1997 the World Health Organization (WHO) formally recognized obesity as a global epidemic. In fact, much of the increase in girls’ weight before 1960 consisted of girls moving out of the underweight category and into a normal weight range. However, in both of these groups people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition including vitamin A, iron, or iodine deficiency. People of all ages can face social stigmatization, and may be targeted by bullies or shunned by their peers. Historical records from developed countries indicate that height and weight increased progressively, particularly during the 19th century. A major initial goal of this organization was to increase the availability of low-cost calorie sources, primarily edible fats and sugars.
Although few developing countries have nationally representative longitudinal data to assess trends, global estimates using both longitudinal and cross-sectional data indicate that obesity prevalence in countries in intermediate development has increased from 30 percent to 100 percent over the past decade.
Long walks to work or to procure wood or water are replaced by mechanized transportation and public utilities. In Australia the rate of obesity among dogs in a veterinary setting has been found to be 7.6%. Obesity can lead to health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and stroke, and obesity is associated with increased incidence of certain cancers. This is further complicated by findings that it is central (also described as intra abdominal or visceral) fat which is more pathogenic. Other researchers have used MRI scans of the body to demonstrate that many normal-weight or even underweight individuals have excess and dangerous deposits of body fat, especially in and around their internal organs. The AMA classification is not legally binding, however, so health insurers still have the right to reject coverage for a treatment or procedure. That study found that the majority of doctors believed obesity is caused by factors that can be controlled by the obese individual, and therefore preventable.
Some who have written on the topic insist that there is a strong and consistent pattern of discrimination, but no systematic review of the scientific evidence has been done. Given the vast numbers of people potentially affected, it is important to consider the research-related, educational, and social policy implications of these findings.
A surprising number aren’t fully aware of how many chronic diseases and conditions are associated with being obese.
McFerran and Mukhopadhyay then conducted many studies across five countries on three continents. While both measurements have their limitations, they are reasonable indicators that someone may have a weight problem. Nevertheless, due to its simplicity, it came to be widely used for individual diagnosis, despite its inappropriateness. But if that man has a slender build (small frame), he may be overweight at 165 pounds (75 kg) and should reduce by 10%, to roughly 150 pounds (68 kg).
According to this criterion the prevalence of obesity in Japan would average 20%, with a high of 30% in men over 30 years old, and women over 40 years old.
People under 20 with a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentile are considered to be overweight.


The skinfold estimation methods are based on a skinfold test, also known as a pinch test, whereby a pinch of skin is precisely measured by calipers at several standardized points on the body to determine the subcutaneous fat layer thickness. Ultrasound equipment is expensive, and not cost-effective solely for body fat measurement, but where equipment is available, as in hospitals, the extra cost for the capability to measure body fat is minimal. The effect of abdominal adiposity does not just occur in those who are obese, but also affects people who are non-obese and it also contributes to insulin sensitivity. An apple shaped person of the same gender, age and ethnicity as a pear shaped person, and with the same BMI, will tend to have a much greater risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke. The WHO describes the “escalating global epidemic” of obesity as “one of today’s most blatantly visible — yet most neglected — public health problems”.
While it may be true that BMIs have been increasing slowly for a long time, the increases observed in recent decades are much faster and have pushed many adults and children over the obesity threshold in a remarkably short time. Current estimates in Australian children and young people indicate that 20%–25% are overweight or obese. Food intake should have fallen substantially despite the community’s focus on the value of food after all the food crises of the past. More than 80 per cent of those who were obese did not become so until they were about 22, although they put on excess weight at an earlier age.
All of this leads up to the study’s conclusion, which states emphatically that health officials must understand and take into account cultural causes of obesity if they want to effectively address the obesity problem.
Over the following decades, these efforts indeed led to major increases in the availability of dietary energy. The global nature of modern commerce, sustained by the technical advances in food production and transportation, has permitted the introduction of low-cost, energy-dense foods in the domestic food market of many developing countries. With the advent of agriculture 5,000 years ago, the availability of grain led to greater fat depots in feed animals and began to alter the dietary balance to which humans had evolved. Calorically dense foods were rare in the pre-agricultural world, where prey animals often carried little extra fat and natural sugars (like honey or ripe fruit). Overweight monkeys resemble humans not only physiologically but also in their eating habits. The main reason that pets become obese is because the food that they eat contains more energy than they use up. Adults with large waist circumferences have excess morbidity, including back pain, diabetes and CVD risk factors, and although less clear, there is some evidence of health risks associated with excess abdominal fat in children. A high body fat among normal-weight men and women was associated with an almost 400 per cent increase in the risk for what is called the metabolic syndrome – elevated blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and triglycerides in association with obesity. Previous research found that doctors, like the general population, may assume that heavy-set patients won’t follow advice for healthy living as stringently as patients of normal weight.
Data from participants in Korea, the United States, and France showed the same overall pattern: Not only did people tend to implicate diet or exercise as the leading cause of obesity, people who implicated diet as the primary cause of obesity actually had lower BMIs than those who implicated lack of exercise. One small problem with using weight-for-height tables is that doctors disagree over which is the best table to use. In the reverse, the man with a larger frame and more solid build can be quite healthy at 180 pounds (82 kg). A 50-year-old woman with the same ratio, accounting for about one in 150 women of the same age, would lose 8.2 years of life on average. Ultrasonographic measuring of fat tissue is currently the favored technique by which one can measure both the subcutaneous and visceral fat tissues. It is now generally believed that intra-abdominal fat is the depot that conveys the biggest health risk.
The reason for this is that internal, visceral fat is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat, and this activity can have harmful effects such as induced insulin resistance, impaired vascular function and inflammation. They promote atherosclerosis, tumor growth, aging, oxidation, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Obesity is a bigger health crisis globally than hunger, and the leading cause of disabilities around the world, according to the British medical journal The Lancet. People who are obese are at a much higher risk for serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, gallbladder disease, and different cancers than people who have a healthy weight. Yet, Chinese fat and sugar intakes are escalating due to primeval biological drive for those commodities with specialized taste buds for fatty acids, meat, sugar and salt.
Based on gender, ethnicity, and body mass index at aged 20 to 22, it was possible to predict who would become obese by age 36. 65% of the world’s population lives in a country where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. It was common among high officials in Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as well as in Ancient East Asian civilizations.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, global food production by 2002 reached about 2,600 kcal per capita and is projected to reach almost 3,000 kcal by 2030. Marketing campaigns and price incentives have an important impact on food purchasing patterns in developing countries, where as much as 60 percent of household income is spent on food.
This pattern continued during the development of the civilization of the middle ages and the Renaissance, with the wealthy often exhibiting marked obesity and gluttony being recognized as one of the “seven deadly sins.” Although the lower prevalence of diabetes among European ancestry Caucasians may reflect a diminished need for “thrifty genes,” Kaufman mentioned a current speculation that diabetes did emerge as a health problem during this period in Europe.
Because they are energy-intense foods, fat and sugar and other problem carbs trip the pleasure and reward meters placed in our brains by evolution over the millions of years during which starvation was an ever-present threat.
There is also evidence that the excess fat in obese children and adolescents is likely to accumulate in the abdominal regions.  Overall levels, as well as the distribution of fat, differ according to both sex and ethnicity. A review in 2013 came to the result that being overweight significantly increases the risk of oligospermia and azoospermia in men. The researchers hypothesized that the link between people’s beliefs and their BMI might have to do with how much they eat. The degree to which a person is overweight is generally described by body mass index (BMI).
Some professional athletes would be overweight or obese according to their BMI, despite carrying little fat, unless the number at which they are considered overweight or obese is adjusted upward in some modified version of the calculation.
By measuring waist-to-height ratio, it is thought that your doctor is getting a much earlier prediction that something is going wrong, and then the patient can be encouraged to do something about it. Visceral fat, also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat is located inside the peritoneal cavity, packed in between internal organs and torso, as opposed to subcutaneous fat‚ which is found underneath the skin, and intramuscular fat‚ which is found interspersed in skeletal muscle.
That’s quite a laundry list of bad things!  Because visceral fat is stored around the liver, it impacts liver function as well. Obesity is now killing triple the number of people who die from malnutrition as it claims more than three million lives a year worldwide.
Obesity is the condition in which the weight and accumulated fat of a person has reached a level that significantly affects their health, longevity, circulatory system, respiratory system, skeletal system and sleep in addition to other parts of their life and body.
The health effects of obesity – increased rates of heart disease and cancer, for example – do not start until many years after a person has become obese.
With the onset of the industrial revolution it was realized that the military and economic might of nations were dependent on both the body size and strength of their soldiers and workers. Consumption of energy-dense foods coupled with reduced energy expenditure facilitates weight gain in adults. According to this hypothesis, the European diabetes gene pool decreased as the food supply increased, while other ethnic groups, particularly with the devastation of the subsequent centuries of European colonial rule, faced periods of extreme hunger for which there was survival advantage to the retention of “thrifty genes”. We’re born enjoying the stimulating sensations these ingredients provide, and exposure strengthens the associations, ensuring that we come to crave them and, all too often, eat more of them than we should.
And unlike humans, who are notorious for fibbing about their daily calorie and carbohydrate intake, monkeys can be monitored closely. In terms of environment, the increasing availability of super-palatable foods over the last 3-4 decades strongly impacts how much we eat, which is likely why rates of obesity are climbing since our genes haven’t changed in this timeframe.
A study with Canadian participants revealed that participants who linked obesity to lack of exercise ate significantly more chocolates than those who linked obesity to diet. Many have different weight ranges, and some tables account for a person’s frame size, age and sex, while other tables do not. There are however several other common ways to measure the amount of adiposity or fat present in an individual’s body. Using body fat percentages (BF %), however, BF%-defined obesity was found in 50% of men and 62% of women. Self-assessment of height is usually pretty accurate and the measurement of waist circumference just requires a tape measure. The accuracy of these estimates is more dependent on a person’s unique body fat distribution than on the number of sites measured. Visceral fat is composed of several adipose depots including mesenteric, epididymal white adipose tissue (EWAT) and perirenal fat. The liver processes fats and because these fats surround it, the liver has to keep processing them—and with them processing a lot of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
The world is now obese and faces alarming obesity rates — an increase of 82% globally in the past two decades. Globally, 44% of diabetes, 23% of ischemic heart disease and 7–41% of certain cancers are attributable to overweight and obesity. Increasing the average body mass index from what is now considered underweight to what is now the normal range played a significant role in the development of industrialized societies. While extreme disparities in access to adequate food availability continue to affect millions of people, there is no question that our ability to ensure stable production of dietary energy is one of the major achievements in human evolution.
In children, the low nutrient content of these foods may not be adequate to sustain normal growth because children require far more nutrients per calorie than adults do. Another rhesus monkey, named Fat Albert, weighed nearly 70 pounds, three times normal weight.
And given the ingredients of many pet foods, you might as well let them chow down on fast food every day.
Female lower body fat is less metabolically active than that in the abdominal region, and is programmed to become mobilized during pregnancy and lactation.
The food environment is more challenging to contend with for some than others, depending on the hand one is dealt in terms of those neurobiological variations in appetite. And a study with participants in Hong Kong showed that participants who were primed to think about the importance of exercise ate more chocolate than those primed to contemplate diet. A significant limitation of all weight-for-height tables is that they do not distinguish between excess fat and muscle. BMI provides a significantly more accurate representation of body fat content than simply measuring a person’s weight. A person with severe osteoporosis (very low bone density) may have a lower BMI than somebody else of the same height who is healthy, but the person with osteoporosis will have a larger waist, more body fat and weak bones.
Waist-height ratio can be used for men, women and children of all age groups and ethnicities.
Knowing more about who is most at risk of obesity may give rise to more effective strategies for tackling the problem. As economic development brings some characteristics of urban lifestyle to rural communities, these populations also begin to show increasing rates of obesity, particularly among women. So craving for sugar, sweets and fatty foods is a biological circuit to store energy for use in future scarcity which luckily does not appear in most populations today and hence stored energy get accumulated to obese level.
High-fat diets alone have not tended to make monkeys obese, researchers say, but a high fructose corn-sweetened punch seems to propel weight gain and the development of insulin resistance. The risk of obesity in dogs is related to whether or not their owners are obese; however, there is no similar correlation between cats and their owners. In relation to the greater pathogenicity of abdominal fat, it is interesting that mortality rates are higher among females with android fat patterning.
Further complicating matters are a host of psychological and physical factors that influence appetite including sleep deprivation, stress, and depression. Although it may not give an accurate reading of real body fat percentage, it is a reliable measure of body composition change over a period of time, provided the test is carried out by the same person with the same technique.
Scientists have come to recognize that body fat, instead of body weight, is the key to evaluating obesity. While child hunger has traditionally been the more pressing problem in African countries, researchers say that malnourished, growth-stunted children are turning into overweight adults.
During the 20th century, as populations reached their genetic potential for height, weight began increasing much more than height, resulting in obesity. Substantial numbers of pet dogs are overweight but you will hardly find a stray dog overweight because stray dog has to work hard to search for food (exercise) and food is not found every day. Sex differences in fat levels have generally been considered to become manifest during puberty. BMI, however, does not account extremes of muscle mass, some rare genetic factors, the very young, and a few other individual variations. Techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging made it possible to dissect mass of adipose tissue located at the abdominal level into intra-abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is known to cause inflammation in the colon and the artery walls, and is a major cause of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Research even suggests that visceral fat affects mood by increasing production of the stress hormone, cortisol, and reducing levels of feel-good endorphins. In the 1950s increasing wealth in the developed world decreased child mortality, but as body weight increased heart and kidney disease became more common.
Thus, in samples followed up through adolescence, levels of fat are higher among females, and of fat-free mass among males. On the other hand, AMA’s declaration could help increase funding for future obesity research.
Thus it is possible for an individual with a BMI of less than 25 to have excess body fat, while others may have a BMI that is significantly higher without falling into this category. Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. During this time period insurance companies realized the connection between weight and life expectancy and increased premiums for the obese. However, more recent studies of pre-pubertal children, some as young as 3 years old, in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and China, have also found higher percentages of body fat and evidence of the gynoid pattern among females.  Percentage body fat also appears to be lower in black, perhaps particularly black African children (and adults) compared with Caucasians. Identifying obesity as a disease may also help in reducing the stigma often associated with being overweight. Some of methods described below for determining body fat are more accurate than BMI but come with added complexity.
It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Many experts believe that obesity in itself is a form of malnutrition that coexists with undernutrition in developing countries. In other words, for any given body mass, black African children have higher fat-free and lower fat mass. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones. We have gone from a world 20 years ago where people weren’t getting enough to eat to a world now where too much food and unhealthy food even in developing countries that is making us sick.
Visceral fat cells will release their metabolic by-products in the portal circulation, where the blood leads straight to the liver. There is, in addition, some evidence that these differences are more pronounced among females than males.
Thus, the excess of triglycerides and fatty acids created by the visceral fat cells will go into the liver and accumulate there.
Hypertrophy of intra-abdominal adipose cells causes it to be in a hyperlipolytic state in which it is resistant to the antilipolytic effect of insulin. The resulting NEFA (non-esterified fatty acid) flux to the liver causes impairment of liver metabolism which leads to over production of glucose in the liver. Individuals with obesity are more likely to develop NEFA, which can weaken the metabolism of the liver causing high glucose production. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
An individual is at a higher risk of developing ischemic heart disease if they have hyperinsulinemia-dyslipidemia while being abdominal obese. Abdominal adipose tissue is a major source of increased inflammatory Interleukin-6 (IL-6) associated with aging. Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’ sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.



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