Many assume that being skinny is always healthy but surprisingly, being “skinny fat” can turn out to be a silent killer.
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Being skinny is often associated with being healthy. Whether it’s you or someone else, we all know someone who gets to eat all they want without gaining any weight or doing any exercise. Feeling jealous? Well, you shouldn’t. It turns out that being skinny and following unhealthy eating habits with no exercise can have the same effects as being obese! Skinny fat individuals can have perfectly normal weight and a normal BMI. But what these readings don’t account for is body fat percentage. Women with a body fat percentage of more than 30% with normal body weight and low muscle mass are probably skinny fat. This condition is otherwise known as TOFI (thin-outside-fat-inside) or described as being metabolically obese.
So you might be wondering where all the fat is stored if skinny fat people can actually look slim on the outside. This fat is stored as visceral fat which is wrapped around your organs. Unlike subcutaneous fat (under the skin) which is visible and can be pinched, visceral fat is more dangerous and carries greater risk of getting diseases usually associated with obesity.
Visceral fat is linked to a whole slew of diseases that aren't usually associated with skinny individuals. Diseases like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease are all linked to having too much visceral fat. So if you think you can get away with an unhealthy lifestyle just because you’re skinny, then you better think again. Visceral fat has also been found to have a different genetic origin than subcutaneous fat and what’s dangerous about this type of fat is that it’s a silent killer. Other discoveries linked to this type of fat include an increased risk of having poor cognitive performance or worse, getting dementia.
Being skinny is no excuse for a bad lifestyle. If you have bad eating habits, don’t exercise regularly and suspect you might have too much visceral fat, then it may be advisable to speak with your doctor. A large waist size is usually the easiest way to confirm you have too much visceral fat. This is all the more reason to not overlook your yearly visit to the doctor’s office no matter how much you weigh. A nutritious diet with less processed foods and junk food along with regular exercise is the way to go no matter how you look!