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Abdominal fat could be linked to bone density

November 18, 2002|Dianne Partie Lange

Much of what is known about bone loss comes from studies comparing sedentary people with those participating in vigorous exercise programs, and obese people compared with normal weight ones. Until now, little has been known about bone loss in people who do routine physical activities, such as walking, and who are a little overweight.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University studied healthy men and women older than 55 who fit this description to find out what helped them retain bone and what didn't. Their finding, published in the November issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine: Of all the factors studied, carrying a little weight around one's midsection was associated with less bone loss.

The unexpected finding shouldn't prompt people to give up on losing weight, caution the researchers. There are too many other health risks, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, that are associated with abdominal fat.

The relationship between fat and bone deserves further study, the researchers say.

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Dianne Partie Lange

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