Struggling With Skinny Fat?
8 Strategies to Reverse Skinny-Fat Syndrome
Dr Mark Hyman | DrHyman.com
“If I’m not overweight, do I need to become concerned about obesity and other health issues?” asks this week’s House Call. “Even though I drink soda and eat whatever I want, I don’t gain weight. Should I be worried?”
The short answer is yes, and here’s why.
One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found nearly one in four skinny people have pre-diabetes and are “metabolically obese.” In other words, about 25 percent of the population fit the skinny fat syndrome, also known as thin on the outside, fat on the inside (TOFI).
Skinny fat means just what it sounds like: You look thin but inside you’re fat. You’ve got organ fat (the more dangerous type of fat) coating your liver, kidneys, and other organs. You are under-lean but over-fat, meaning not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat).
Most people assume if you’re overweight, you’re unhealthy; if you are thin, you are healthy. Unfortunately, the reality isn’t so simple.
Yes, America has a big fat problem: almost 70 percent are overweight and many have diabesity, a condition I define as anywhere on the continuum between pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Even though it might sound crazy, being skinny fat might become more dangerous than being overweight.
Let’s say you go to your annual doctor visit and you are overweight or obese. He or she will probably run blood tests, become concerned about type 2 diabetes, and ask you to lose some weight.
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If you arrive thin, your doctor might not conduct those blood tests or otherwise acknowledge underlying issues. He or she might assume things are normal rather than checking under the hood for pre-diabetes and other problems that pave the way for detrimental repercussions.
That’s unfortunate, since if you are a skinny fat person and get diagnosed with diabetes, you have twice the risk of death than if you are overweight when diagnosed with diabetes. People who are thin but have pre-diabetes and high sugar also increase their risk for heart disease and early death.
In my medical practice, I see skinny fat syndrome all the time. Jim provides an excellent example. He came in for a “wellness checkup” and felt happy about his weight. His body mass index (BMI) was 22, which seemed within the normal range.
Jim never seemed to gain weight and felt he could “tolerate” a diet that included lots of bread, pasta, and sugar. He liked his two sodas a day and a few glasses of wine at READ MORE: http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/12/11/8-strategies-to-reverse-skinny-fat-syndrome/