Being overweight or underweight are characteristics depending on many factors: you are genetically overweight if you have a family history of overweight parents/relatives.
Also, the nervous system plays an important role in balancing the body weight: serotonin and endorphins send signals to the brain that induce the need to eat or on the contrary.
There is also the CCK hormone which transmits the brain signals on the state of satiety - it decreases hunger.
While generally, body weight is influenced genetically, hormonally and by the body maintenance condition (the activity routine), it seems that the fat distribution is influenced by age, genetic inheritance, race, but to a greater extent by gender specific hormones.
They are responsible for the distribution of fat in certain zones of our bodies: thus, estrogens which are responsible of the typical female sexual characteristics will influence the fat deposition in the pear format, favouring its laying on the hips, thighs, and belly, while testosterone will 'lead' fat mostly towards tummy and upper body.
It is clear that increased body fat affects health, the news is that its distribution on the body influences the state of health of specific organs.
According to its placement, fat can be subcutaneous (under the skin) or visceral (around organs). The greatest concern is generated by visceral fat that can interfere with the good functioning of vital organs. There is a relationship between overall fat deposits and specific fat deposits: fat around the body middle section is associated with visceral fat, so, abdominal fat is the most serious health risk.
The waist to hip ratio is a method of determining whether there are excessive amounts of upper body fat. It is obtained by dividing the waist measurement by the hip measurement. The upper limits are:.95 for men and .80 for women. Any exceeding values should be alarming.
Apple-shaped fat individuals are exposed to a greater risk of developing obesity-related diseases, as the fat is intra-abdominal and distributed around their stomach and chest. They risk:
Cardiovascular diseases and hypertension
Type 2 diabetes
Respiratory diseases (sleep apnea syndrome)
The pear-shaped overweight persons are at greater risk of mechanical problems, as most of their body fat is distributed around their hips, thighs and bottom.
Both apple-shaped and pear-shaped obese persons are likely to develop psychological problems and alteration of the quality of life.
In any case, extra-weight cannot create but problems. Fact is that the main role in acquiring extra-fat is the food intake that the body cannot burn for various reasons (such as a decreased metabolic rate, low activity level or the physical condition), and, consequently, it creates fat deposits. The solution is a classic one: diet and exercise.
However, in shedding extra weight there are men-women differences. The process appears to be harder for women.
The total mass of the body is made up of fat mass and fat-free mass. The fat mass can be of two types: essential and excess. Essential fat is found in bone marrow, in various organs, and throughout the nervous system.
Women are at a disadvantage, as their physiological processes (childbearing and hormone functions) require a plus of essential fat, the 'sex-specific fat'.
Thus the total percentage of body fat is higher, moreover, this part of essential fat is hard to dislodge. Secondly, women have less calorie burning muscle than men, which makes it more more demanding for the female to achieve a trimmer figure.
Now, girls, don't use it as an excuse!
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