Figures from NHS Digital have shown that four in ten young adults in Britain are overweight.
We're getting fatter
The figure was less than three in ten in 1993, showing a significant leap in the last few decades.
Nearly three million 16- to 24-year-olds are overweight.
In total, 17 per cent of young men have a waist of at least 40 inches, compared with 4 per cent in 1993.
Almost a quarter – 23 cent of women in the age category have a waistband of at least 34.5 inches - a rise from 9 per cent in 1993.
Doctors worry a lot about weight carried in this area.
This is because it’s a sign of visceral fat - that’s fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and may wrap its self around the liver, pancreas and intestines.
Visceral fat is dangerous stuff
Experts are concerned that this soaring weight problem may lead to millennials – those born in the early 80s through to the early 2000’s – may die at an earlier age than their parents’ generation.
Some of the conditions associated with visceral fat include:
• Heart disease
• Diabetes 2
How can I tell if I am carrying visceral fat?
Not all fat is visceral fat. Women, although generally fatter than men, tend to store their fat in their hips, buttocks, thighs, and lower abdomen. Visceral fat is known as a “deep” fat that's stored further underneath the skin than “subcutaneous” belly fat.
One way if discovering whether you have the dangerous variety of visceral fat is to have a DEXA scanner equipped with ‘Advanced Body Composition’.
The capabilities of this scanner – which is completely safe, emitting minimal radiation - will provide an accurate indication of total fat in the trunk region, .
Choose a DEXA machine with a CoreScan option, and the data can pinpoint whether this fat is stored around vital internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines.
Once you know your risk factors, you can discuss how to reduce your risk with lifestyle changes or medications.
Getting rid of visceral fat
On the contrary, eating healthy fats – such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat – has health benefits, including making you feel fuller. They may have more calories, but ironically, they may make you slimmer.
She says: “Reducing one’s intake of calories as a means to lose weight has been proven time and again to fail yet it continues to be promoted by GPs, fitness experts and health practitioners as an essential and effective weight loss tool.”
Rather, she explains we should be choosy over which foods we consume. “Carbohydrate-rich foods (sugars, flours, starchy veg), especially those that are highly processed, may have far fewer calories than fat and protein rich foods like nuts, avocados, olive oil, butter, will far more readily increase stores of body fat.
Stephanie Moore explains: “These high carbohydrate foods cause a rapid increase in levels of sugar in your blood – blood glucose. High blood glucose levels trigger the hormone insulin to be sent into the bloodstream, as insulin regulates blood glucose levels.”
Sticking only to protein with no fat is not to be advised either. “An excess of protein-rich foods can also trigger insulin and fat storage but in comparison to carb-rich foods it is small,” she says. “However, an egg-white only omelette or a lean chicken breast, full or protein and barely any fat, is not a healthy or balanced option, so moderate protein is appropriate and should be eaten with fat and fibre, both of which elicit no insulin response.”