Abdominal Obesity Signs And Effects On Men’s Health

// Published October 18, 2019 by James Washington

Abdominal obesity signs and effects on men’s health

Fat is subcutaneous – it can be deposited on the entire surface of the body – from the face to the legs – and visceral, which is deposited around the internal organs (mainly the abdominal cavity). Abdominal obesity is the accumulation of excess fat in the abdomen. More precisely, a large omentum – a double fold of loose connective tissue, which protects internal organs from damage, accumulating fat as a cushioning layer. Excess visceral fat is much more dangerous and can lead to serious illness if you do not do weight loss on time.

Excess visceral fat leads to abdominal obesity

Criteria for Obesity

Body mass index and waist circumference are two main criteria that allow a doctor to diagnose “obesity”.

Waist circumference is measured using a meter along the natural waistline (the middle of the distance between the apex of the iliac crest and the lower lateral edge of the ribs). BMI – using the formula (weight in kilograms / square of height in meters). There are also additional parameters – the ratio of waist to hip circumference, fasting glucose, the amount of triglycerides and high density lipoproteins (HDL) in the blood and blood pressure.

The table below shows the main criteria that determine the parameters of male obesity.


Obesity BMI, kg / m 2 Waist circumference, cm
Normal weight <25 ≤ 102
Initial Overweight 25 – 29.9 ≤ 102
Obesity 1 degree 30 – 34.9 ≤ 102
Obesity 2 degrees 35 – 39.9 ≤ 102
Obesity 3 degrees > 40 ≥ 102

Morbid (40-50 kg / m 2 ) and super obesity (above 50 kg / m 2 ) are also distinguished in Western medical literature.

Waist circumference measurement helps to control excess weight.

Data are for a person with a healthy metabolism (the so-called “healthy metabolic phenotype”). BMI alone is not a criterion for abdominal obesity.

But if a person has an unhealthy metabolic phenotype, the waist circumference, even in the presence of the first degree of obesity, will be more than 102 centimeters. This means that there is a direct relationship between the waist circumference and metabolic disorders. That is why doctors separately highlight abdominal obesity.

By abdominal obesity, it is worth understanding the significant predominance of visceral fat over subcutaneous in the abdomen.

It is abdominal obesity that is a direct precursor to cardiometabolic disorders, while with a metabolically healthy phenotype (waist circumference does not exceed hip circumference), the risks of endocrine and cardiovascular pathology do not increase.

Complications of Abdominal Obesity

Excess visceral fat helps increase the concentration in the blood of triglycerides and low density lipoproteins – the so-called “bad” cholesterol. In addition, it contributes to the loss of insulin susceptibility of all tissues, which forms type 2 diabetes.

3 stages of abdominal obesity: with the first – slight excess weight, with the third – a significant excess of the norm

In addition, the fat layer itself complicates the work of many organs and systems.

    • overweight and obesity of the 1st degree – 1-5% risk of developing heart disease and 7-23% risk of developing diabetes;
    • obesity of 2 and 3 degrees – 5% higher risk of developing heart disease and 23% and higher risk of developing diabetes.
We remind you that what matters is not just overweight, but visceral fat. It differs from subcutaneous in structure and metabolic effects.

The cardiovascular system

Abdominal obesity increases the risk of developing the following diseases:

    • dyslipidemia (violation of the ratio of fatty acids and blood cholesterol);
    • arterial hypertension;
    • atrial fibrillation;
    • coronary heart disease;
    • stroke;
    • phlebeurysm.

Gastrointestinal tract

Naturally, the digestive organs also suffer from abdominal obesity: a fat pillow that fills the abdominal cavity and increases intra-abdominal pressure is not good for them.

Excess fat in the abdominal cavity affects the internal organs

Among the diseases that are most often found in obese people are the following:

    • non-alcoholic steatohepatitis – fatty degeneration of the liver;
    • reflux esophagitis (throwing the contents of the stomach into the esophagus due to high blood pressure);
    • dysfunction of the gallbladder: cholecestitis, including calculous (stones).

Endocrine system

Adipose tissue is a metabolically and endocrine active organ. An excess of visceral fat disrupts the sensitivity of cells to insulin, which forms type 2 diabetes mellitus. Usually it is preceded by metabolic syndrome, which will be discussed in more detail later.

In addition, adipose tissue produces estrogens – female sex hormones.

Therefore, with an excess of fat in men, testicular function decreases, testosterone production decreases, due to which sexual desire decreases, orgasm decreases, and premature ejaculation appears. Imbalance of sex hormones increases the likelihood of prostate cancer.

Also, in severe forms of the disease, the adrenal glands can suffer.

Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome – a set of pathological manifestations that are characterized by:

    • an increase in visceral fat (abdominal obesity);
    • cell resistance to insulin;
    • dyslipidemia;
    • arterial hypertension.

Abdominal obesity is a harbinger of metabolic syndrome

It is abdominal obesity that is the main precursor to the metabolic syndrome. But there are other, equally important indicators:

    • the presence of arterial hypertension (blood pressure above 140/90);
    • high triglycerides in the blood (more than 1.7 mmol / l);
    • low level of high density lipoproteins – the fraction that takes cholesterol from peripheral tissues and carries to the liver (less than 1 mmol / l);
    • impaired tissue glucose tolerance (during a stress test, glucose levels are above normal).

Disease prevention

The main factors that provoke the appearance of abdominal obesity are a genetic predisposition, malnutrition and lack of exercise. If nothing can be done about the first, then the influence of the last two factors can be limited:

    • Limit fatty and high-carb foods, consume more vegetables, do not overeat, and do not eat 3-4 hours before bedtime – these simple tips allow you to, if not lose, then at least keep weight at one mark.
    • Regular moderate physical activity will allow you to “burn” the extra calories that have entered the body, as well as strengthen the heart.

But still, it is a healthy and balanced diet that helps prevent obesity and maintain the existing weight. Bad habits (smoking and alcohol) only exacerbate the problem of overweight, as they disrupt the metabolism in the body. Therefore, nutritionists are advised to abandon bad habits for those who want to go on a diet and lose weight.


Diets are very popular now, but it is worth remembering that a sharp decrease in weight is a lot of stress for the body and can do more harm than obesity itself.

The choice of diet for weight loss should be approached with caution.

It is impossible to lose 10-15% of the available body weight in a few months without harm to health – usually these indicators are achieved by fasting (after which the body will begin to store more fat), carbohydrate-free nutrition and other extreme diets.

To optimally lose weight and not harm the body, you must consider the following recommendations:

  1. Overweight and 1 degree of obesity – the optimal weight loss is 3-10% of the available body weight for 6 months;
  2. 2 degree of obesity and the presence of pathology (hypertension, diabetes mellitus) – 10-20% for 6 months;
  3. 3 degree of obesity – 20-25% for 6 months.
In a diet, a measure is especially important. Even with extreme obesity, the body must receive a sufficient amount of protein and vitamins, i.e. nutrition should be balanced.