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Central adiposity is the accumulation of fat in the lower torso around the abdominal area. Central adiposity is a function of both subcutaneous fat, which sits under the skin, and visceral fat, which surrounds the internal organs in the peritoneal cavity. Currently, it would seem that the toxic component of central adiposity is the visceral fat.
High levels of central adiposity have been associated with an increased risk of a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and dementia. Of note, it would seem that central adiposity is independent of body mass index (a proxy of total adiposity) as a predictor of disease (even though the two are highly correlated). This increased risk is thought to be due to the hormonal action of visceral fat, which actively excretes adipokines, most of which impair glucose tolerance.
Central adiposity is most often measured as waist circumference...
References and Readings
- Lee, C., Huxley, R., Wildman, R., & Woodward, M. (2008). Indices of abdominal obesity are better discriminators of cardiovascular risk factors than BMI: A meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 61(7), 646–653.Google Scholar