Fat Around Organs
Accumulates In Couch Potatoes
Its official: a new study finds that being a couch potato can
help pack on unwanted fat, specifically the dangerous "visceral"
fat that can build up around internal organs.
Experts warn that visceral fat shows strong links to insulin
resistance, cardiovascular disease and other metabolic problems.
"We believe that these results shine a clear spotlight on the
high costs Americans are paying for their continued inactivity.
I don't believe that people in general have gotten lazier -- it's
more that they are working too hard or are at their desks working
on computers with fewer opportunities for exercise. The situation
is out of balance," lead researcher Cris Slentz, of Duke University
Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.
The study of 175 sedentary, overweight men and women also found
that a moderate exercise program can help prevent the accumulation
of visceral fat.
"In our study, the control group that did not exercise saw a
sizable and significant 8.6 percent increase in visceral fat in
only six months," Slentz said.
"We also found that a modest exercise program equivalent to a
brisk 30-minute walk six times a week can prevent accumulation
of visceral fat, while even more exercise can actually reverse
the amount of visceral fat," Slentz said.
Study participants exercising at the highest level -- the equivalent
of 17 miles of jogging per week -- had a 6.9 decrease in visceral
fat. The actual exercising was done on treadmills, elliptical
trainers or cycle ergometers.
The findings appear in the October issue of the Journal of