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Risky fat linked to sedentary time

Thursday January 11th, 2018

New links have been found between long periods of sedentary time and fat deposited specifically around internal organs.

In the journal Obesity recently, Dr Joe Henson of Leicester University, UK, and colleagues write: "It has been well documented that obesity and physical inactivity predispose individuals to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

“More specifically, evidence suggests that the distribution of excess fat is an important determinant of metabolic, cardiovascular, and mortality risk."

They add that physical activity is known to be one of the cornerstone interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The team studied links between sedentary time and adiposity, in a group of 124 men and women at high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Analysis showed that each hour of sedentary time was associated with 1.74 litre extra total abdominal fat, 0.62 litre extra visceral fat, 1.14 litre extra subcutaneous fat and 1.86% extra liver fat.

In particular, "sedentary time was associated with greater liver, visceral, and total abdominal fat in the inactive group only", the team reports.

They conclude: "Sedentary time is associated with higher levels of inter- and intra-organ fat, but associations with liver, visceral, and total abdominal fat were stronger in those who do not reach the current exercise recommendations for health."

Dr Henson commented: "Using MRI techniques and physical activity monitors we have shown that the more time spent sedentary, the stronger the association with higher levels of internal and abdominal fat. This was particularly so if the long periods of sedentary behaviour were uninterrupted.

"Our findings also show that reaching the UK government's target of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity may offer some protection against the harmful effects of prolonged sedentary time."

Henson, J. et al. Sedentary Time and MRI Derived Measures of Adiposity in Active vs. Inactive Individuals. Obesity 20 December 2017; doi: 10.1002/oby.22034 [abstract]

Tags: Diabetes | Diet & Food | Fitness | Heart Health | UK News

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