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How does body shape affect health?

Where excess body fat is distributed on your body plays a role in your risk for disease. Weight gain around your waist (specifically in your abdominal area) is more of a health risk than weight gained on your hips and thighs. Unlike fat around the thighs, which is more common in women and is more likely to serve as an energy reservoir, abdominal fat deposits fatty acids directly into the bloodstream for immediate short-term energy, increasing triglyceride and, eventually, cholesterol levels. Therefore, excess abdominal fat is associated with an increase in blood cholesterol and insulin resistance, which may result in diabetes. An "apple shaped" figure may also raise your risks for other life-threatening illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.