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Thread: Are you thin on the outside, but fat on the inside?

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Are you thin on the outside, but fat on the inside?

    DIET: Thin people may be fat inside - Yahoo! News
    By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer Thu May 10, 7:28 PM ET

    LONDON - If it really is what's on the inside that counts, then a lot of thin people might be in trouble. Some doctors now think that the internal fat surrounding vital organs like the heart, liver or pancreas — invisible to the naked eye — could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin.

    "Being thin doesn't automatically mean you're not fat," said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create "fat maps" showing where people store fat.

    According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. "The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined," said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain's Medical Research Council.

    Without a clear warning signal — like a rounder middle — doctors worry that thin people may be lulled into falsely assuming that because they're not overweight, they're healthy.

    "Just because someone is lean doesn't make them immune to diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease," said Dr. Louis Teichholz, chief of cardiology at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey, who was not involved in Bell's research.

    Even people with normal Body Mass Index scores — a standard obesity measure that divides your weight by the square of your height — can have surprising levels of fat deposits inside.

    Of the women scanned by Bell and his colleagues, as many as 45 percent of those with normal BMI scores (20 to 25) actually had excessive levels of internal fat. Among men, the percentage was nearly 60 percent.

    Relating the news to what Bell calls "TOFIs" — people who are "thin outside, fat inside" — is rarely uneventful. "The thinner people are, the bigger the surprise," he said, adding the researchers even found TOFIs among people who are professional models.

    According to Bell, people who are fat on the inside are essentially on the threshold of being obese. They eat too many fatty, sugary foods — and exercise too little to work it off — but they are not eating enough to actually be fat. Scientists believe we naturally accumulate fat around the belly first, but at some point, the body may start storing it elsewhere.

    Still, most experts believe that being of normal weight is an indicator of good health, and that BMI is a reliable measurement.

    "BMI won't give you the exact indication of where fat is, but it's a useful clinical tool," said Dr. Toni Steer, a nutritionist at Britain's Medical Research Council.

    Doctors are unsure about the exact dangers of internal fat, but some suspect it contributes to the risk of heart disease and diabetes. They theorize that internal fat disrupts the body's communication systems. The fat enveloping internal organs might be sending the body mistaken chemical signals to store fat inside organs like the liver or pancreas. This could ultimately lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease.

    Experts have long known that fat, active people can be healthier than their skinny, inactive counterparts. "Normal-weight persons who are sedentary and unfit are at much higher risk for mortality than obese persons who are active and fit," said Dr. Steven Blair, an obesity expert at the University of South Carolina.

    For example, despite their ripples of fat, super-sized Sumo wrestlers probably have a better metabolic profile than some of their slim, sedentary spectators, Bell said. That's because the wrestlers' fat is primarily stored under the skin, not streaking throughout their vital organs and muscles.

    The good news is that internal fat can be easily burned off through exercise or even by improving your diet. "Even if you don't see it on your bathroom scale, caloric restriction and physical exercise have an aggressive effect on visceral fat," said Dr. Bob Ross, an obesity expert at Queen's University in Canada.

    Because many factors contribute to heart disease, Teichholz says it's difficult to determine the precise danger of internal fat — though it certainly doesn't help.

    "Obesity is a risk factor, but it's lower down on the totem pole of risk factors," he said, explaining that whether or not people smoke, their family histories and blood pressure and cholesterol rates are more important determinants than both external and internal fat.

    When it comes to being fit, experts say there is no short-cut. "If you just want to look thin, then maybe dieting is enough," Bell said. "But if you want to actually be healthy, then exercise has to be an important component of your lifestyle."

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    Damn girl you're on a roll, tryin to keep up with you

    I did my BMI the other day and let's just say... I need a diet and exercise nazi here stat. but I think I'm actually ok on what this article is talking about. My cholesterol is low which is unbelievable, but I ain't complainin'.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Aw, this is nothing. I used to post like this all the time back in the day. Just been on a bit of a break lately.

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    Well carry on!!

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    Elite Member Rondette's Avatar
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    Although I am a normal healthy weight I am a secret fattie, I think about food all the time, what I want to eat, chocolate, cake, chips, burgers....if I ate like I thought I'd be a big girl!

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    Elite Member TheMoog's Avatar
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    I am fat on the outside and thin on the inside!

    Let me explain - I was always the tall beanpole type and never thought to look after myself. Now I am late 30s and have been kidding myself for the last 5 years that I look okay, just a little chubby, must get to that diet soon, etc.

    I saw myself on the video the other day! OMG!!!!! I'm huge! This must stop.

    I am very tall and can "carrying the weight" - up to a point. YIKES!!!

    I want my outside to match the way I feel inside....sniff!!!!

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    A*O
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    Me too Moog. I need to drop a few kg's too. MrAO has his routine blood tests back today and he's slightly high on the blood sugar. Not diabetic, but we need to be aware. So it's OFF the booze now and most of the carbs and other obvious sugars and let's see what happens.
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    Elite Member MsDark's Avatar
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    Ha! You beat me to that one Moog. It's the opposite for me too. Between genetics, 10 full years of working out hard consistently (and 8 more years of doing it intermittently) there's some lean muscle mass up underneath this "extra layer" I've had since the kid that doesn't seem to wanna budge!

    Not worried about fat on my organs. I don't eat a lot of junk, and every doc I've ever been checked by confirms my levels for just about everything are better than average.

    My weight has always been prone to 5-10# fluctuations, but there's about 10# since I had a kid that I've done everything short of trying to beat off with a stick to get rid of. I never in a million years thought I'd consider lipo, but I have now at least read up on it a couple times!
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Me too Moog. I need to drop a few kg's too. MrAO has his routine blood tests back today and he's slightly high on the blood sugar. Not diabetic, but we need to be aware. So it's OFF the booze now and most of the carbs and other obvious sugars and let's see what happens.
    Ah well, I'm not alone!

    I need to involve hub in my programme too (he is happy to do it but muggins here will need to organise it all, ha!). His father was a diabetic and I've noticed he has quite a sweet tooth lately. He also needs to lose a bit.

    Ah well, time to dust down that treadmill..................

    Mrs Dark -

    Sounds like you just have a teeny tiny "fat-suit" to slip out of Sounds like you've got the good body in there just underneath. I guess it's not easy after having a baby. I have never reallyl exercised. OMG! I used to walk EVERYWHERE and that was my only exercise. Nothing formal, however. Since moving to the `burbs and hub driving us everywhere my weight has shot up....!


    Good luck A*O and Mrs Dark too!

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    Elite Member MsDark's Avatar
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    That layer just seems to have found a happy home and doesn't wanna leave. But the reason I don't get frustrated enough to give up the working out altogether is because I genuinely like the way it makes me feel better physically. And believe maintaining the muscle tone at least helps to be able to carry it better...I don't look as much the fatass as one might think if they were only looking at my height/weight written down on a piece of paper instead of me in the flesh.

    Now if I worked out as many hours as I used to it might make a bigger dent, but I like things like doing stuff with my husband & son, keeping my house and yard looking nice, going to school and making good grades and working job I enjoy where I feel like I'm making a difference. Y'know, having a life.
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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    I used to joke about this all the time. I had my cholesterol checked when I was 17 and it was higher than my mother's; since then I've become much more aware of what I eat. Just because it is difficult for me to put on weight doesn't mean it is a green light to eat garbage and sit on my ass.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    That's interesting about the sumo wrestler's fat being more under their skin instead of on their internal organs; they seem to have the opposite effect Fat Outside, Thin(ish) Inside. Wonder what they do to accomplish this.

    I'm way overweight, and have always been on the bigger end of the spectrum even when I was thin as a teen. But the one thing that's always stood out is my low blood pressure. No matter how much weight I gain, it's always on the lowest end of healthy. Talk about being lulled into a false sense of security, lol. Sheeit, I know I should really have my blood tests done for cholesterol, isn't that a better indicator of internal fat and potential heart probs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    I know I should really have my blood tests done for cholesterol, isn't that a better indicator of internal fat and potential heart probs?
    That's what I've been told, Beeyotch. My situation is similar to yours... I could stand to lose 30 lbs though 20 would be good enough... I've always had extremely low blood pressure, and my cholesterol was fine when checked a year ago. I'm told it's largely genetic... I have a friend who no matter how she eats or exercises has to take meds to lower her cholesterol.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Mira, that's so unfair for your friend, I feel for her. I hope my genetics are helping me out on this one, since I could stand to lose at least 60 lbs. though like I said I've always been on the bigger end of things...I wonder how closely blood pressure is related to cholesterol? I'm thinking it would take cholesterol deposits/plaque to make BP go up. But can you have elevated cholesterol with normal or low BP?

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    I dunno... that's a question worth asking for sure.

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