- Skinny fat refers to people who have a normal weight and BMI, but their body fat is higher.
- People who are skinny fat are at risk of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
- Among the signs that you are a skinny fat include family history, excess fats around the middle, not eating a healthy diet, cannot do a push-up/work out, and belong to the at-risk population.
Skinny fat is also known as thin fat, which refers to people who seem thin and have normal weight and BMI, but have more fats in their body. It is also called “normal-weight obesity” that may affect around one-fourth of normal weight people, according to a 2008 study.
Ishwarlal Jialal, MD, director of the Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research at UC Davis Health System said, “They look healthy, but when we check them out they have high levels of body fat and inflammation.”
He further said, “They’re at high risk for diabetes and cardiovascular problems, but you wouldn’t know it from their appearance.”
Your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol must be check if you are healthy indeed. On the other hand, some signs would help you know if you are skinny fat. Among them are the following:
In one instance, a parent or sibling no matter if she is thin or fat has conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or high cholesterol, you may be at risk of these diseases too. Hence, you must manage your normal weight to decrease your risk of these conditions.
Experts advise exercising regularly and consume a balanced diet. You may also consult your doctor about how to prevent these conditions that your family acquired.
2. Excess fats around the middle
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates that normal-weight people with excess fat around their middle had an even higher risk of dying early compared to their overweight or obese peers.
Dr. Jiahal added, “Fat around the middle is worse than fat anywhere else.” “It’s where the damage starts in terms of insulin resistance and inflammatory proteins.”
He further said, “It should be a warning sign if you’re slowly increasing your belt size or your pants start feeling tighter around the waist.”
3. Consuming unhealthy diet
Cynthia Sass, RD, Health’s contributing nutrition editor said that yo-yo dieting, skipping meals, and extreme cleanses can also be a skinny-fat syndrome. This is because you consume much food when your hungry then you lose muscle mass when you cut calories, which is not a healthy combination.
Likewise, consuming unhealthy diets such as processed foods like burgers and drinking too many sodas or eating too much sugar and fat may put you at risk of medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, among others.
4. Cannot do push up/work out
Skinny fat cannot do some physical activity such as push up or cannot work out.
Dr. Jialal said, “When people are not overweight, they don’t have the incentive to work out and get in shape.” He further said, “But without regular exercise, they just get more and more unhealthy.”
5. Belong to the at-risk population
You may be in an at-risk population. According to a 2011 study, people of South Asian descent are more likely to store excess fat around their internal organs, compared to Caucasian people of the same BMI.
Likewise, a 2014 study indicates that older adults had to pay less attention to their BMIs. It is known that elderly people have high body fat percentages even though they have normal weight. The study concluded that older adults must focus on building muscle mass to help them live longer and have healthy lives.