Researchers recently found, using data gathered from the Framingham Heart Study, that study participants who followed a diet consistent with the recommended dietary guidelines and exercised regularly had less abdominal fat.
The study, which was published in Diabetes Care, followed 2,926 adults who underwent CT scans to measure abdominal fat. Exercise and healthy eating weren’t the only lifestyle factors that impacts abdominal fat. The study found that smokers had higher levels of VAT (a deep layer of fat that surrounds the abdominal organs and is linked with metabolic risk factors).
In addition, men whose lifestyle includes consuming higher amounts of alcohol had higher volume of this abdominal fat (VAT) .
While the idea that lifestyle impacts abdominal fat is nothing new, the specific type of abdominal fat that is increased by these lifestyle choices seems to be more harmful than previously thought. Authors concluded the volume of dangerous VAT can be significantly reduced when more healthy habits are adopted.
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(Moleenar E, Massaro JM, Jaques PF, Pou KM, Ellison RC, Hoffmann U, Pencina K, Shadwick SD, Vasan RS, O’Donnell CJ, Fox CS. Association of lifestyle factors with abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adiposity. Diabetes Care. 2009;32;505-510.)