Do you think that just because your weight is normal that you're healthy?
I hope you are; but your weight does not necessarily equal your health status. Could YOU be skinny-fat?
What does Skinny-Fat mean?
Someone who is relatively thin may be "metabolically obese, normal weight" (MONW), which is the medical term for being skinny-fat.
It is also known as "Metabolic Obesity." This is very prevalent in America today, especially among women. It's also common in men and children, unfortunately. People who are skinny-fat may look "normal" and healthy and have a normal weight, but are at much greater risk for serious medical conditions. Metabolically obese individuals have all the same risks of disease and death as the obese population.
Skinny-fat basically means:
Even if your weight or BMI is normal, you have a high percentage of body fat (not enough muscle and too much fat).
In this case, a high percentage of body fat is found in people with little muscle tone, who are rather doughy, even if skinny. This person has a low or normal body mass, but a high fat mass.
This excess proportion of fat is especially prevalent around the middle, which often causes a pot-belly or muffin-top. This is the dangerous visceral fat surrounding the internal organs.
The area where fat builds up is important. The visceral fat (belly fat) that surrounds the organs in the abdominal cavity is associated with metabolic and health problems, while the subcutaneous fat under the skin is mostly a cosmetic problem (see study highlighting the difference). (The fat just under the skin and the number on the scale may not be not as much of a health concern in comparison.) Therefore, reducing belly fat should be a priority for health improvement.
The main culprit here is the hormone insulin, which is the fat storage hormone. This is caused by a diet full of sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, refined flours, processed, and refined foods. Insulin levels spike due to over-consumption of these foods, over time causing insulin resistance, diabetes, and associated health problems.
Approximately 68% of Americans are considered obese, and according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, even 1 out of 4 normal-weight people have pre-diabetes and are "clinically obese".
A person who is skinny-fat may see these results on their lab tests
(having just 2 of these could indicate you're skinny-fat):
Individuals who are skinny-fat:
It may actually be better to be fat and fit than thin and out of shape!
Jenny Yelle, MHNE Holistic Wellness Educator
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