WHIDBEY RECIPES: Belly fat sticks out as issue for health agencies near and far

Belly fat; if you have it, you could be in for anything from diabetes to dementia to dysfunction. You know the dysfunction I’m talking about, the dreaded ED all those TV ads go on and on about. Belly fat is the current hot health mania, and not just in this country.

Belly fat; if you have it, you could be in for anything from diabetes to dementia to dysfunction. You know the dysfunction I’m talking about, the dreaded ED all those TV ads go on and on about.

Belly fat is the current hot health mania, and not just in this country.

In Japan, the government has mandated that every company measure its employees’ waistlines and those who exceed the decreed 33.5 inches are to be given a deadline by which they will either lose the belly fat or their job. Can you imagine that happening here?

In case you aren’t aware, yet, of the belly fat bugaboo, the International Diabetes Federation has set guidelines for our waistlines, 39 inches for men, 34.6 inches for women. The more your belly bulge exceeds those numbers, the higher your risk for coming down with all sorts of unpleasant, downright nasty health issues. Heart trouble, diabetes, erectile dysfunction or ED, dementia, stroke, high blood pressure and I’ve no doubt they’ll come up with others as the craze continues.

From what I’ve read, belly fat could be crowding, if not smothering your internal organs, preventing them from functioning fully and properly.

Imperfectly functioning organs then lead to a breakdown in the bodily systems that keep us going, such as digestion, elimination, circulation; you name it. This is all totally aside from the fact that you’ll never again wear a bikini if you don’t ditch the belly fat, although it doesn’t seem to bother women on some European beaches I’ve visited over the years.

Nothing is ever easy, however, especially when it comes to our bodies and those who tell us what’s wrong with them. There are, it seems, two types of belly fat; subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat is that layer just beneath your skin that jiggles like jelly when you move. It’s soft and squishy when you poke a finger into it, and while it’s not pleasant and it’s definitely unwanted, it is not nearly as dangerous as the other, less obvious visceral fat.

Visceral fat lies deeper, beneath the subcutaneous stuff, and invades the space around your internal organs. It can impede kidney function, raising your cholesterol drastically, which then lead to a host of other associated troubles.

Visceral fat has recently also been associated with breast cancer and, latest news, may even be responsible for triggering a general inflammation in all the cells of your body.

Trouble is, you can’t see it so you don’t really know if you have it or not, but if your waistline goes beyond those numbers given above, chances are it’s there.

All of this bad news would explain why just in the past two or three months, I’ve received at least a dozen trial offers for diets, articles, books, pamphlets, samples of drugs, miracle programs for belly fat removal, exercise equipment guaranteed to remove belly fat and, “a belly slimming elixir that helps flush out your whole system by eliminating excess waste, sodium, and water.” How can I resist an offer like that?

One of the various offers, however, both alarmed and grossed me out. My too-active imagination took off when I was offered the golden opportunity to receive, on a free 30-day trial, a book that, among other things, would reveal to me the “five-minute trick that can help unlock the trapped air in your digestive tract.”

Nothing personal, but I don’t think I want to be around people with inordinate belly fat who have learned that trick.

More in Life

Some rhododendrons possess a velvety underside on the leaves that act as a moisture collector.
Changes bloom at Meerkerk

New paths mark perennial gardens

Vivienne Duchanne performs with Queens of the Island by night at Off the Hook in downtown Oak Harbor on the second Tuesday of every month. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
Life is a drag

‘Queens of the Island’ reeling in Whidbey fans

Twins’ art spotlighted in gallery show

Dan and Mike Burroughs: ‘Brothers with Brushes’

Making art out of life’s leftovers

‘C.R.A.P.’ coming back for annual show

Enter your best outdoor photos in the Land Trust photo contest

It’s time to showcase the natural beauty of Whidbey and Camano islands… Continue reading

Wirth named Washington National Geographic State Bee semifinalist

Eva Wirth, a seventh grader at South Whidbey Middle School and daughter… Continue reading

Over a dozen land on Skagit Valley College fall honor roll

Sixteen South Whidbey students were named to the Skagit Valley College academic… Continue reading

A ‘Whale of a Tale’ in Langley Feb. 24-25

By BETTY FREEMAN For Whidbey News Group For 34 years, Langley has… Continue reading

Dancing Fish Farm to buzz with The Bee Eaters fiddlers

Acoustic concert features fiddling siblings

Puget Sound Energy Foundation awards grant

The Puget Sound Energy Foundation recently awarded more than $4,500 to the… Continue reading

Coupeville woman earns Coastal Volunteer award

Coupeville resident Sandy Dubpernell was recently named the Jan Holmes Island County… Continue reading