Regional Obesity means center of your body is more obese in comparison to the rest of your body, also called Abdominal Obesity. Various medical disorders are more common if you have regional obesity like High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, uric acid, heart disease.
What is regional obesity?
- The traditional definition of obesity includes a measure of height/weight and defined as Body Mass Index (BMI).
- Now with the advancement of science, we are realizing regional obesity is much more important for health.
- Here we measure the girth of waist and hip and express that as a ratio called WAIST-HIP RATIO (WHR).
- For men normal is < 0.85
- For women < 0.90.
What is the relation with general obesity?
In most of the cases, it does not go hand in hand. You may have a normal BMI but your WHR may not be. So normal height-weight ratio or maintaining ideal body weight is not always reassuring.
How does it happen?
The fat in the abdomen is resistant to the action of Insulin, more so in comparison to the other part of the body.
With an excess of abdominal fat Insulin resistance develops which increases Insulin resistance further and the cycle continues.
This Insulin resistance is the main reason for adverse health outcome with regional obesity. Unfortunately, it is more common in South East Asian Countries.
What are the health consequences of regional obesity?
Regional obesity is associated with a cluster of metabolic problems such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis which all lead to problems with the heart (heart attack) and brain (stroke).
Medically we called this Syndrome X. The other concern is back pain, because of the pot-belly the forward curvature of the lumbar spine increases and is one of the risks of disc problem and wear and tear leading to the spondylitis.
What is the treatment?
Change of lifestyle with so-called “modernisation” of our society (less physical work, more and more fast food intake with high fat and refined carbohydrate) has the burden of blame to share.
We are using the term “Therapeutic Life Style (TLC)” changing as the most important measure. We need to eat the correct food, which obviously means to avoid high fat and calorie fast food as much as possible.
We need healthy eating, like eating plenty of vegetables and optimum fruits on daily basis. We need to undertake some form of physical exercise every day for at least 30-45 min.
Also, we need to keep an eye on our BMI, WHR, blood pressure, cholesterol, on a regular basis.