Sunday, December 24, 2006

Are you thin on the outside but fat on the inside? Tofi

Are you a Tofi? (That's thin on the outside, fat inside) Guardian/The Observer 12/10/2006 "many people who have normal body weight are carrying around hidden layers of fat. Stored up around vital organs, they can put outwardly healthy people at risk...Tofis probably need to worry more about their health than others, because the fat deposits they carry are hidden in the white fat that lies around their vital organs, streaked through their underused muscles, and wrapped around the heart. It is this fat that sends out the chemical signals which eventually lead to insulin resistance, diabetes and heart conditions, rather than the fat lying in dimples underneath the skin...Genes also play an enormous role. 'Our work so far has shown that you can take two men of the same age, with the same BMI [body mass index], and find one with five litres of fat within him and another with two litres,' said Professor Jimmy Bell, who works at Hammersmith Hospital, west London. 'We've even scanned people who are underweight and found up to seven litres of fat inside them...But is it possible that doctors and the public have become sidetracked by BMI, a method of measuring fat developed 150 years ago in Belgium? BMI is worked out under the metric system by taking your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in metres squared... The problem with BMI is that most rugby players, sporting heavy muscles, would come out with a high BMI when in fact they have low levels of visceral fat..."

Interesting that researchers are beginning to view fat as an organ which secretes chemicals and hormones that can change the way we feel, the way we think and can control the fertility level of a woman. There's more information at the Guardian. And who knew the BMI was 150 yrs old? About time for something more sophisticated and accurate.

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