Why do people gain weight in different parts of their body?

The Reasons Why People Gain Weight in Different Parts of the Body

According to the World Health Organization, obesity has more than doubled since 1980 with an estimated 1.9 million adults considered overweight and 600 million classified as obese.  Being overweight or obese can have serious health implications causing medical problems and even death. Obesity though is preventable through lifestyle changes, diets and exercises. However, losing weight is not as easy for many, with men and women exhibiting different ways of storing and losing fat.

Understanding Phenotypes

Nutrients such as carbohydrates and lipids which we obtain from our food are converted to energy needed by our bodies to support life. Excess carbohydrates are stored as glycogen and lipids as fats. Too many proteins, on the other hand, are not collected, but excreted. Phenotypes or the characteristics of the human body as they interact with genes dictate to a certain extent how fat is distributed.

Android Fat Distribution

Excess fat in the trunk of the body and the abdominal area is common among males due to aging. The high concentration of fat in the abdomen though indicates an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. However, women also experience android obesity especially among those in the menopausal stage because estrogen levels are low. For both genders, stress is a contributing factor to this phenotype.

Gynoid Fat Distribution

Gynoid obesity is characterized by fat that is concentrated on the hips, buttocks, thighs and lower abdominal area. Unlike android obesity, it is associated with lower health risks.

Visceral Abdominal Fat

Fat accumulation of this type quickly converges on the belly. This is more common in men than women and is also very dangerous to the health. Genetics play a role in determining how much abdominal fat is stored according to some studies. In some women, cortisol levels contribute to higher fats stored in the abdomen.

Losing Weight and Exercises

Weight loss is a challenge for many. While some people get rid of unwanted kilos faster than others do, the rest just do not make it very far. For example, men are perceived to drop weight faster than women because they have more lean muscle that helps burn off massive calories.  In addition, men also store fat differently and there are differences in hormones, hormonal receptors and blood flow between genders.

Genetics can play a part

Second, genetics play a role in the distribution and loss of fat. It explains why some people tend to concentrate weight in certain areas of their bodies than elsewhere. According to the latest findings by Texas Biomed scientists, genes influence ‘weight gain and fat accumulation’ in addition to weight loss. Another factor is metabolism or the rate at which bodies burn calories. Metabolism is also partly genetic and how fast or slow your body expends calories can affect weight gain or loss.

The bottom line is, following a healthy diet and regular exercise can help in losing or maintaining an ideal weight. What is not possible is to target specific areas in your body where you would like to lose weight, as weight is loss overall and not in particular areas as explained by the Yale Study on targeted fat reduction.

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