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How does extra weight around the waist affect disease risk?

Nicole Florence, MD
Internal Medicine
Extra weight around the waist -- belly fat -- increases the risk of several serious conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. In this video, bariatrician Nicole Florence, MD, discusses the health concerns of having too much belly fat.
Studies have shown that if you tend to carry your extra weight around your waistline -- if you have an "apple-shaped" body -- you have a higher disease risk than people who carry their excess weight on their hips and thighs. This is partly because belly fat is not just fat under your skin. Some of it is visceral fat (fat around and within your body organs). Visceral fat is more closely associated with health risks like diabetes and heart disease.

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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.