Carrying excess body fat has been associated with a myriad of health problems. Researchers have documented the effects of being overweight on one's chances of getting diabetes, for example.
Now, researchers from the Mayo Clinic have found that it doesn't even take extra pounds of fat to harm blood vessels. The study, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, found that those who gained weight in their stomach experienced blood flow problems to their arms. The symptoms, however, were not as profound in patients where fat was evenly distributed throughout the body.
Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Virend Somers says that the study highlights the need to look at an individual's entire health picture, not just how much they weigh.
"Physicians should know that the location of fat is important," said Somers. "Greater attention should be given to the circumference of a patient's waistline, not just their body mass index."
Individuals who are in poor health typically end up being charged higher health and life insurance premiums. Fortunately, the study also found that those who lost weight regained proper blood flow. People can lose weight through proper diet and exercise.