“Pneuzinho”: What science says about belly fat

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If you are a man or woman approaching 50, look at your waistline. If you’re like many people, you might have to bend over a bit to see your feet. Yes, it’s the dreaded “pneuzinho” – that bulge at the waist that can often increase with age, just like receding hairlines or wrinkles.

Difficult to eliminate, it is almost like a rite of passage, it is part of the cycle of life. But a new study finds that letting your fanny pack get bigger can not only make you buy bigger clothes, it can also hurt your physical abilities later in life.

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The research, which tracked 4,509 people aged 45 and over in Norway for more than two decades, found that participants with a large or relatively large waist circumference at the start of the study were 57% more likely to be “frail” than those with a large waist circumference. a normal waist.

But frailty has nothing to do with that idea of ​​a “staggering” elderly person with a cane. In fact, frailty is characterized by reduced strength and walking speed, fatigue, unintentional weight loss, and low physical activity.

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People who were obese at baseline, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, were also 2.5 times more likely to be frail than those with a BMI considered normal (18.5 to 24.9), according to the study published this week in the journal BMJ Open.

There could be several reasons for this, according to the study authors. Obesity causes increased inflammation in fat cells, which can damage muscle fibers, “leading to reduced muscle strength and function,” wrote Shreeshti Uchai, study co-author and doctoral candidate in nutritional epidemiology at the University of Oslo in Tromsø, Norway.

The results highlight the need to look not only at total weight gain, but also at any increase in waist size, and to broaden the definition of frailty, the authors concluded.

“In the context of a rapidly aging population and a rising obesity epidemic, increasing evidence recognizes the ‘fat and frail’ subgroup of older individuals, in contrast to the view of frailty as just a condition of cachexia [perda de peso e massa muscular]”, they wrote.

fighting the decline

Physical activity can help combat the increasing frailty that aging can cause. Adults should perform muscle-strengthening exercises involving all major muscle groups on at least two or more days per week, in addition to exercising for at least two and a half hours per week at moderate intensity, in accordance with the body’s physical activity guidelines. US Department of Health and Human Services for US citizens.

Reducing body fat and increasing lean body mass can help improve balance and posture, CNN Nieca Goldberg, chief medical officer at Atria New York City and associate professor at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.

To stay strong and healthy, try to do both cardio and strength exercises.

They “seem to work together and help each other get better results,” said William Roberts, professor in the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. “A balanced program of strength and aerobic activity is probably better and possibly closer to the activities of our ancestors, which helped define our current gene pools.”

To start practicing strength exercises, the fitness collaborator at CNN Dana Santas, body and mind coach for professional athletes, suggests mastering exercises using your own body weight before moving on to free weight training.

(CNN’s Kristen Rogers contributed to this story)

Source: CNN Brasil

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