You might have heard of the notion that being overweight is good for your bones.
Well, this myth has been debunked as I explain in a previous article titled “Your Weight Affects Your Bones: True or False?”.
And besides all the good science behind the study mentioned in that article, if you think about it, you’ll easily conclude that it's a logical fallacy. Obesity has been implicated in a wide variety of health conditions and illnesses. Does it make sense that obesity could protect you from osteoporosis? No, it certainly does not.
But as new research shows, not all fat affects your bones equally. In fact, having excess fat in certain areas of your body can accelerate your bone density loss.
The #1 Body Fat Bone Health Offender
A recent study conducted by the Radiological Society of North America looked at 50 pre-menopausal women with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 30. Although BMI is a flawed measurement and does not take muscle mass into account, a BMI greater than 30 is generally considered obese. In case you don’t know, a normal BMI is around 20, so you can get a better idea of what these numbers mean.
The study, led by Dr. Miriam Bredella, a radiologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, first determined the amount of total body fat, as well as the amounts of subcutaneous fat and visceral abdominal fat in each study participant. Then, special DXA scans were used to determine bone mineral density.
The study found that higher levels of deep abdominal fat (visceral fat) correlated with lower levels of bone mineral density. However, the fat just below the surface (subcutaneous fat) did not show the same significant correlation with bone mineral density.
Dr. Bredella's conclusion: “Our results showed that having a lot of belly fat is more detrimental to bone health than having more superficial fat or fat around the hips. … We know that obesity is a major public health problem. Now we know that abdominal obesity needs to be included as a risk factor for osteoporosis and bone loss.”1
How To Get Rid of Your Belly Fat
Spot reducing doesn't work. If you have excess weight around your abdomen, the best way to deal with it is through a good overall weight loss program and of course, to get those muscles moving.
So if you are among those who need to lose some of that fat as part of your bone health regimen, what better time than now – the beginning of a new year – to slim down and start feeling and looking better and younger… all while helping your bone density as well.
It's Not Your Fault…
I know how challenging it can be to lose weight, and that very often success depends on the type of diet you follow. Some blame themselves for not following through with a diet, when in reality the diet itself makes it impossible for a person to stick to it.
Because if a weight loss plan is not realistic and easy to follow, it will inevitably fail.
In fact, years ago I was the Assistant Director at a weight loss clinic in Miami. I worked intimately with people who were struggling with their weight and so I became very well acquainted with what works and what doesn’t work.
Start the New Year with a New You
If you are following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I know that you are dedicated to regaining your bone health and are willing to make the positive changes in order to succeed.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and slimmer you!
1 Bredella, Torriani, et al. “Musculoskeletal (Metabolic Conditions and Osteoporosis) Detrimental Effects of Visceral Obesity on Bone Health.” Radiological Society of North America. Presented on November 30th, 2010.