Fat on the inside

Even skinny people can be obese on the inside, by carrying fat around their internal organs.

Fat on the inside

No matter whether you are slim and the envy of all your friends, or carrying a few more kilos, you can still be obese on the inside, by carrying fat around your internal organs.

Often people work hard to look skinny, but having curvy hips or ‘junk in your trunk’ (a big bottom) may not be the worst of your worries. Those who eat unhealthily but still remain skinny may be in more danger than they realise. Having fat on your internal organs and in your bloodstream is what causes cardiovascular disease, not the muffin top hanging over your jeans.

Health professionals are now warning against using your clothing size as an indicator of internal health. To get a true indicator of your health, you should test your body-fat percentage, not your overall weight.

The phenomenon of ‘normal-weight obesity’ (being a ‘healthy’ weight but carrying internal fat) is often referred to as TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside). While it is important to keep your weight down, it is also important to eat healthily, especially if you don’t put on weight easily and therefore rarely monitor your intake of fatty foods.

Testing whether your internal fat levels are too high isn’t difficult - high levels of visceral fat, or fat stored in the abdominal cavity, will often show up in the form of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You can also look at your overall body shape. Visceral fat collects in the abdominal area, so those with bigger stomachs, or ‘apple-shaped’ people, are more likely to be storing internal fat than those with a pear shape who store fat on their thighs and bottoms.

Have you ever had your body fat percentage tested? Did the results surprise you?


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