Weight Training Targets Visceral Fat
Scientists know that the type of fat you can measure with a tape isn’t the most dangerous. But what is the most effective way to fight internal, visceral fat that you cannot see or feel? The answer: exercise.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center analyzed two types of interventions — lifestyle modification (exercise) and pharmacological (medicine) — to learn how best to defeat fat lying deep in the belly. The study is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
“Visceral fat can affect local organs or the entire body system. Systemically it can affect your heart and liver, as well as abdominal organs,” said senior author and cardiologist Dr. Ian J. Neeland, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. “When studies use weight or body mass index as a metric, we don’t know if the interventions are reducing fat everywhere in the body, or just near the surface.”
“The location and type of fat is important. If you just measure weight or BMI, you can underestimate the benefit to your health of losing weight,” said Dr. Neeland, a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care. “Exercise can actually melt visceral fat.”