Belly fat not only may keep some women from squeezing into a pair of skinny jeans, it also may be wreaking havoc on their bones. A new study finds that belly fat in women might increase their risk of osteoporosis.
The study presented Tuesday at a Radiological Society of North America meeting in Chicago found that women with deep abdominal fat -- that is, fat underneath muscles deep in the abdominal cavity -- had increased bone-marrow fat and decreased bone density. The findings seem to reverse earlier thinking that excess body fat protected women from bone loss.
Lead researcher Dr. Miriam A. Bredella, a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, says in this news release: "Our results showed that having a lot of belly fat is more detrimental to bone health than having more superficial fat or fat around the hips."
The study, which looked at bone health in 50 obese women, now will look at the effects of belly fat and bone health in men. Here’s the full study.
And "Belly fat blues," a story by Los Angeles Times staffer Shari Roan offers a closer look at the perils of abdominal fat.