The growing health dangers of the new epidemic, “skinny fat,” have many Doctors concerned. Claiming that weight is more than just a number, Doctors are now saying that thin people may be carrying around the most lethal kind of fat without even knowing it.
Last month Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn coined a new phrase when she mentioned “skinny fat” during a press conference. It is defined as a thin person who eschews basic exercise and healthy eating and yet continues to look thin and beautiful on the outside. In fact, these people have more cellulite than most. They are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. This new hidden health danger is being overlooked because Doctors are focusing on the numbers on the scale instead of overall lifestyle.
In fact, Doctors are putting too much emphasis on weight loss. Last week the CDC released their latest figures on obesity. The good news is that there was a drastic change in children aged 2 to 5. What isn’t being taken into account in the metabolism rate and family history. Good genes often play a part in how a young person can eat sugary snacks, drink full fat soft drinks, practically live on fast food, never exercise, and still maintain a healthy weight. What you cannot see, the hidden health dangers of being “skinny fat” is the increased risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and higher than normal blood sugar.
In a society obsessed with body image, what you look like on the outside counts more than what’s actually happening on the inside. The overweight woman on the treadmill may have more endurance and overall better physical health than her skinny counterpart slogging along right next to her.
Dr. Daniel Neides, the medical director of Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, says that he sees cases like this all the time. Healthy on the outside, but inside they are an absolute mess. Dr. Neides says that most people know someone who can be categorized as “skinny fat.” They most likely do not eat their vegetables and haven’t had a real workout since high school gym class. On the outside they appear to be in perfect health. But the consequences of “skinny fat” can be deadly.
The main issue is with visceral fat storage. Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, says that a person doesn’t necessarily have to have a lot of stored body fat but what is there is the worst and most dangerous kind. A thin person may run the risk of having visceral fat stored in their organs, which has been known to cause metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is defined as someone having multiple conditions, such as high blood sugar or high blood pressure, that puts them at a higher risk of developing heart disease, a stroke, or diabetes.
The hidden health dangers of being “skinny fat” are numerous and preventable. Doctors urge yearly physical exams, complete with full blood work. Exercise is just as important as a well-balanced diet in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Beautiful and strong is the new skinny.
By Mary Kay Love