Are You Overfat?

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Posted on: September 27, 2015

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Are you overfat?

It’s likely.

In a recent study published in Frontiers in Public Health, researchers from New Zealand and the United States determined that up to 90% of men, up to 80% of women, and up to 50% of children in 30 developed countries, including the U.S., were overfat.

These percentages are disturbingly high, higher even than the numbers for people who are overweight or obese.

What is “overfat”?

What does it mean to be overfat, and how does it differ from being overweight or obese? The latter two are simply measures of body weight with no consideration of how much body fat we’re carrying around. Even body mass index (BMI) only considers weight in terms of height.

Overfat is not determined by weight, but by the ratio of our body’s fat mass to muscle mass. The percentage of our body that is made up of fat – and the percentage made up of muscle – is known as our body composition.

Belly fat

You are deemed to be overfat when your percentage of fat to muscle is high enough to risk negative health consequences. The most unhealthy form of body fat is abdominal or belly fat.

The fallout

In a medical news release that accompanied the publication of the study, one of the study’s authors, Dr. Philip Maffetone, asserted: “Excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, is associated with increased risk of chronic diseases, increased morbidity and mortality, and reduced quality of life.”

Overfat & Body Compostion

Two people could be the exact same weight but have very different body compositions. What Is Body Composition?

In the authors’ study, using a triangle graph they created (shown at the beginning of this article), they explained the entire process, beginning with the key cause of excess body fat – a poor diet.

Excess body fat leads to insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to high triglycerides, high glucose levels, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and belly fat. From there, we sadly progress to diseases and killers like stroke, arthritis, heart disease, polycystic ovaries, pulmonary disease, gout, cancer, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver.

What your bathroom scale doesn’t tell you

Though your bathroom scale may tell you that your weight is normal, if too much of your weight comes from fat and too much of that fat is concentrated in the abdominal area, you may be overfat, and at risk of serious health challenges.

And though the increases in the past three decades in overweight and obesity in developed countries are now leveling off (and that’s certainly good news), the overfat population is continuing to increase, pointed out lead researcher Dr. Paul Laursen of Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and colleagues.

Summing Up: As a population, we are losing muscle and adding fat, much of it at the waistline.

How to determine if you’re overfat

The authors have a basic recommendation for determining if you’re overfat....


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