NEW STUDY: The Truth About Bone Loss And Fat Loss - Save Our Bones

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.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. jennyct

    Was not losing weight while eating back my exercise calories, so I decided to lower my calories to 1200 and go lower carb. Lost weight immediately. But I also lost bone weight according to my Bioelectrical impedence scale. At first I thought is was wrong, but after reading around different studies, I do believe that low calorie diets do affect bone mass. It would be helpful if you showed another study backing up the Harvard one, because all I find go against the article above.

  2. jh

    I quit taking actonel 6 years ago and have quit drinking soda, very rarely drink coffee, drink some tea. Eat more poultry and some fish. Rarely eat red meat and pork – maybe once a month.
    I eat More veggies and fruit, nuts an peanut butter.
    I am in good health, dental is good.
    Daily I wake up with metalic taste in my mouth. I have tried everything to relieve it. I drink water. I tried aloe vera juice, I tried salt water, Mouth wash. Even after I eat just about anything I get an acid taste or metalic taste in my mouth. IT SCARES ME THAT THIS ACID is also affecting my bones and teeth. I do not take any acid reflux med or otc.
    My dentist did not have any clue. I believe 90% of Americans must also suffer this too as many people i talk to have similar symptoms. what can we do Vivian. Hope you can help! jh

  3. Jo Ann L. Hoppe

    As I read your email on 1-08-11 it was offering a weight loss program for $47 which I bought and used my master card. The transation went throug CLK*Cp, -H555ZBPNE but as of today 2-6-11 I have not received the program I bought. I mostly wanted it for the recipes. Can you please check into this or tell me who to contact. Thank You Jo Ann Hoppe

    • Customer Support

      Hi Jo Ann,

      Although Vivian recommends The Diet Solution, it’s not our product, and you’ll have to contact them directly for support.

      Just go to The Diet Solution and click on the Contact and FAQ link at the very bottom of the page. Fill out the contact form below the FAQ questions and someone from their support team will get back to you.

  4. bea mowry

    vivian i lost the strontium message you just sent could you please send it to me again thank you bea

  5. Lydian B.

    I am not over weight. In fact I am quite slim except in my belly–and that keeps getting bigger. (No cancer or anything else–just plain old fat!) Why this is happening?–I just don’t understand.

    I’m 86 years old and, in general, have very good health except for a bad back problem and this belly fat. I am on no medications except for an aspirin (maybe 2 or 4 a week max,) now and then when my back gets really bad and I can’t get off of my feet for a while. (I live with my youngest daughter–my husband died in 05–three months and eight days before our 60th) We are vegetarians and have few sweets.

    Our diet is, for the most part, fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables and I usually eat just two meals a day (and drink plenty of water.) We have few deserts and eat organic whenever we can get them. I use no dairy. So where is this belly fat coming from???? I’ve always worked very hard and have had plenty of exercise but, because of my back problems, I can no longer do as much as I once could. (I don’t just sit around but help out around the house and yard as much as I can–and I have a stationary bike I can use which helps.) Apparently almost all of the “padding” around my spine has disappeared for some reason and now it’s just bone rubbing against bone and the doctors say there really isn’t very much that can be done about it–surgery would only make bad matters worse.

    Because of my back I can no longer garden much or do a lot of the other exercises as I did before my back got so bad. I’ve always worked hard and led a very active life until this back problem came along. What is causing this belly fat and what can I do to get rid of it? Where do I go from here?

    Thanks for any advise you can give me.

  6. Ralph Haywood

    Dear Vivian,

    I live in another Sunshine State called Queensland,
    but just recently there has been more rain (lots of it) than sun.
    As you will know, doctors prescribe Prednisone
    (Prednisolone) for various ailments. This drug is said to cause osteoporosis as a side effect. My
    doctor recommends Ostevit (vitamin D + calcium) to counter the bone loss.
    Do you think that is the best solution, or do you think there is some alternative to the drug, thereby obviating the damage to the bone structure?

    Kind regards –

    Ralph Haywood (Noosa, Australia)

  7. Sheryl King

    Dear Vivian,
    I have heard that many “bending” exercises are bad for those with low T scores on the spine. I am not overweight, but I do have a larger abdomen that I want. What exercises are safe for someone with osteoporosis?? I am 54 and my score is a -3.4 so I want to do what is best for my spine.
    Thanks for any adice.

  8. Nu Ly

    I am thin bbuild, I want weight gain.

    Thanks for free video to watch.

    • Derek Ives

      All these weight programs seem to be for the over weight person. What about somthing for us UNDER WEIGHTS. I eat quite health food but never put on any weight and since being told that I have osteoporosis I seen to be losing weight as well as height.

  9. Mary Anderson

    Dear Vivian: This was a very interesting article. It is hard for me to believe wheat bread is not the type of bread we should be eating. This is what we have had for a number of years because it is has been so highly recommended. Also It was good to hear butter is a good product. I do not use artificial substitutes and always feel guilty for using butter. I will now enjoy it more than ever.
    I did not order the books but I found this very interesting and worthwhile. Thank you very much for making it possible for the people to hear this information.

  10. Garnet

    I bought the Diet Solution Program and when they sent me an email, I discovered that the books are digital. You can get part of them in soft backed hard copy but they cost another $27. I am hoping that this is a good program and will work, but didn’t know it would be on the computer. Just some information for all of you that might be interested.


  11. Meg

    I find all this very interesting but they don’t take in to account non meat eaters.They say Soy is bad for you but how about Tofu?

    • Deliana

      Tofu is soy…

      • L Hughes

        but tofu is FERMENTED soy which is actually pretty healthy

  12. Allison Ifferte

    I have watch a TV video stating that taking Probotics help balance the acidic/alkaline PH in our gut, by providing “friendly bacteria”. This in turns wards off inflammation which could cause osteoporis and many other illnesses. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Thanks for all the great info you have provided in the past.

  13. PatrickOKeeffe

    Hi Vivian,Patrick here.Ijust want to say this is the most exciting information that I have recieved,not that your bone building information is not interesting,it is.But I must explain.I am not accessing this kind of information solely for myself but for my wife who some years ago was diagnosed with oateoporosis,and also suffered a heart attack,but she did not stay on the drugs for osteoporosis.After her heart attack she developed other symptoms for whichshe was prescribed more drug,which she is told she will be taking for the rest of her life.As a result of all of this she has become grossly overweight,so for her and my daughters and daughters-in-law I am excited about this latest information.Thank you Vivian,and a happy new year to you.

  14. Doreen Hamilton

    I would like to hear more about being underwieght and how to remedy the harm caused to our bones in this matter. Many of my friends and I are extremely underweight and have an increased danger of bone loss for this reason. I am rather tired of weight ‘problems’ being always most often related to overweight. Please give us really thin folks a break (not literally)and some advice. Thanks, Doreen H

    • Christine

      I agree with you Doreen. I am really sick of forever hearing about ‘overweight’ problems also and even more fed up with overweight people commenting on my thin build. I would never approach a complete stranger and comment on their being ‘fat’, but these same people have no hesitation in making insulting remarks to thinly built people. So bring on more information that will help us thinly built people.

    • Kay Passage


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Doreen,

      There’s such a wide variety of foods you can eat on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program (and no limit to the amount you can eat) that it should be easy to adjust for either weight loss or weight gain.

      You can add more complex carbs that pack calories, such as bananas, grapes, alkalizing beans, green peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes with peel, etc. And you can up the calories of the acidifying foods. For example, replacing chicken with beef. What also helps is having multiple snacks throughout the day.

    • Lynn

      I have similar concerns as Doreen. Almost every article about anything health related, the first thing mentioned is to lose weight. I am about at my correct weight, give or take a few pounds. If I start to follow all the directions, I’ll be in big trouble. If anything, I would like to gain a few pounds. If I get sick, I can lose 10 pounds in a matter of days, but it takes me a long time to gain it back.
      I want to stay on course without losing weight.


  15. Michael

    Hi Vivian,

    In your excellent book you explain how to balance alkaline and acid food in each meal. As per your explanation we need to eat meat or fish with vegetables only to create proper balance. In addition to vegetables, only quinoa, buckwheat or potatoes with peels would be fine to mix with meat or fish.

    I have two questions related to the statement:
    1. How peels make so big difference for the potato? With peels it is alkaline, without – acid? Should it be cooked with peels or what is the idea?
    2. How about Chinese or Japanese tradition to eat lots of rise with very little vegetables? How they survive? Or they have a bigger calcium loss then other nations?
    Thank you very much.


  16. Shula

    Thank you, Vivian


  17. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,

    This Was A VERY INTERESTING Article, And A VERY Informative FREE Video To Watch.
    Thank You VERY MUCH For Sharing Them With Us.

    LOVE, MS. L.

  18. shirley Steinman

    I have a weight problem, strictly around the tummy mid area. I am 5 ft. tall and weigh 104 lbs. pretty good one would say, but my fat area is definitely my middle. I have had 3 C-sections and finally a total hysterectomy in my late 30’s. As you can see my children were born at a very early age, 20, 27 and 30. I felt I had time to reshape my body, but nothing happened. I do yoga deep stomach breathing every morning, I walk and am quite active. Thru all this I developed serious osteoporosis.
    I think I follow all the rules, but to no avail. Also, I never smoked, and drink very seldom, maybe 1 glass of wine a week!! I eat well and I am aware of all food, good or bad and what they can do for against you. Now, doesn’t all this sound questionable? Honestly if I had all the answers, perhaps I am missing some. I need serious advice. Many Thanks. Shirley

    • cindy

      Hi Vivian, have you heard of Medi-Collagenics. They have a vitamin out and its 100% collagen. They say its good for joints,eyes,heart,brain and liver. My husband thinks its a con. Have you heard of it? Thank you for your reply.


  19. Eva Baker

    This article is all well and good for most people but I have the exact opposite problem. I am 78 years old and trying desperately to GAIN weight! That is a subject that is not being dealt with in these times. I have lost muscle and I am very active! I feel good but look so thin.I have printed out weight-gaining diets online and there is a limit to how much I can eat at one time.Also- things just don’t taste as good as they once did.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Eva,

      See my reply to Doreen. 🙂

  20. grace

    Dear Dr. Vivian,
    I’m confused as I am thin a senior 119 lbs. now 5.3 from 5.5 I had a hysterectomy in 1974 but never wanted to go on the hormones, but in 1992 I did for a very short time and then stopped when learing about the drug. Then put on fosamax, then when that didn’t work put on boniva, and then again when that didn’t work actonel which worked for 2009 but then in 12/2010 it was back to the way it was in 2005. Now dr. wants to put me on IV Boniva, but I decided against it. So my question is I do see belly fat inspite of being very thin what am I to do? I do exercise and do all my own work and I am type A personality. Thank you! Grace

    • Michael

      Dear Vivian,
      It’s regretful that you had no response to the medications you described…the fact is that they do not work without focused attention on adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D as well as your focus on exercise (walking/weight-bearing exercise). It’s possible that you are vitamin D deficient in which case you will not absorb calcium from your diet even if calcium is adequate. Without adequate calcium/vitamin D, none of the osteoporosis medications will improve your bone health nor increase your bone mineral density. Ask your primary car physician to check out these factors (serum vitamin D as 25-OH-vitamin D) and take a close look at your calcium diet. Best of Luck.
      M.T.DiMuzio, Ph.D.

  21. Blanche Goebel

    Please tell me about Miacalcin as I have been using it for 13 years. I am wondering if it could be part of my bad imune system.
    Blanche Goebel

  22. Beryl

    Is exercising with the Wii a good form of exercise to improve ones bones? I fine I am more motivated with the help from the wii fit training programs. I look forward to hearing from you.

  23. Mrs Mary Turner

    Dear Vivian;I have lost your message and Video re Spine exercise! The one with the rolled up Towel-never got to use it and I really need help.Please will you resend?
    Happy and Good Year

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