A more dangerous type of fat is visceral fat, which lies much deeper, around the internal organs, and cannot be measured with skinfold caliper testing.
Subcutaneous fat accumulates slowly over time and can be very hard to get rid of once it is stored.
Visceral fat is very easily stored, but also easily released. When visceral fat is released into the blood stream, it can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, stroke and even dementia.
Brown fat is important for regulating body temperature. It is more prevalent in children, and the amount decreases as we age. Scientists continue to study its effects, and have found that lean people tend to have more brown fat than people who are overweight or obese. Unlike other types of fat, research shows that when stimulated, brown fat actually burns calories.
Much more plentiful than brown fat, white fat helps the body to regulate temperature, store energy and produce hormones that are then secreted into the bloodstream. In contrast to brown fat, white fat shows very little metabolic activity.
It is thought that insulin resistance, related to excess abdominal fat, may cause as much as 25 percent of heart disease seen in men and 60 percent of that found in women.
Exercise can prevent and treat insulin resistance syndrome, which has been associated with type II diabetes and heart disease. Research shows that a brisk 45-minute walk can lessen a diabetic’s resistance to their own insulin.
Marjie Gilliam is an International Sports Sciences Master certified personal trainer and fitness consultant. Write to her in care of the Dayton Daily News or send email to email@example.com.