Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer - Three Good Reasons not to Join the Masses of Dumb "D(e)ad Body" Worshipers

This is one of the "dad body" models currently displayed on the net who are already beyond "normal-weight" obesity.
If you look at the characteristics of the recently hyped "dad body" it's hard to ignore that - from a medical point of view - many of the alleged "mommies" and "daddies" would be classified as a normal weight obese individuals, i.e. someone who's BMI is in the normal zone, but whose body fat percentage exceeds  ≥25. 4 % (for women this would be ≥31.4 %).

And while it may be debatable whether a beer-bellied beanpole is sexy or not, there's no question that having a "dad body" is associated with a significantly increased risk of several potentially fatal health problems.
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  • The dad body is a reliable indicator of metabolic syndrome - As sexy as some people obviously believe it was, the belly your "dad" is carrying is a sign of his high risk of suffering from the five main features of the metabolic syndrome.
    Figure 1: Prevalence of the 6 features of the metabolic syndrome in normal weight subjects according to the amont of body fat they are carrying around (Oliveros. 2014).
    And as the data in Figure 1 tells you, the same goes for your pot-bellied normal-weight "mum", as well. I both population groups the prevalence of metabolic syndrome is significantly increased (Oliveros. 2014). 
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    The dad body is associated with increased risk of subclinical atherosclerosis - Compared with dads and non-dads without bellies, the gut-bellied dad who is now proud of his "dad body" has 7% more sclerotic plaque and a 46% elevated risk of developing soft plaques, as well as a 7.1% increased risk of developing full-blown atherosclerosis  (Kim. 2015).

    Needless to say that  Kim et al. also observed those with a particularly "daddy" belly and thus a high visceral to subcutaneous fat ratio were at the highest risk of clogged-up arteries.

    Unsurprisingly, the same group of patients was identified by Polish scientists to suffer from subclinical disturbances of left-ventricular function a harbinger of heart attacks (Kosmala. 2012). Similar data comes from a 2012 study by Shea et al. who were able to confirm that those "with elevated [DEXA determined] %BF are at increased risk of developing cardiometabolic disease despite having a normal BMI" (Shea. 2012).
  • The female pendant to the dad body is associated with a high risk of dying from cardiovascular disease - An analysis of the data from the US NHANES dataset revealed that men and women with dad and mom bodies (>23.1% body fat in men and >33.3% in women; both fat, but with a normal BMI) didn't just have a four-fold higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome (16.6 vs. 4.8%, P < 0.0001), they also had a had higher prevalence of dyslipidaemia, hypertension (men), and cardiovascular disease (women).
    Figure 2: Increase in cardiovascular death risk in men and women with mean (18.65–23.15% in men an 28.9–33.3% in women) and high body fat (>23.15% in men and  >33.3% in women) on a normal-weight frame; data adjusted for age, race, smoking status, waist , dyslipidaemia, hypertension, diabetes, and CV disease (Romero-Corral. 2009).
    It is thus no wonder that even after adjustment for confounding factors, women with a "mom body" showed a significant 2.2-fold increased risk for cardiovscular mortality (HR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.03–4.67) in comparison to "normal bods" group. In men a risk increase of only 17% was observed - after adjustment for age, race, smoking status, waist circumference, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, diabetes, and CV disease, obviously. Similar evidence comes from a previous study from Switzerland (Marques-Vidal. 2010), where normal-weight obesity is sign. less prevalent than in the US.
  • All the negative effects of having a "dad body" may come back to chronic metabolic stress and its vicious consequences- Data from a 2010 study from the University of Rome "clearly indicates that NWO [normal weight obese people], besides being in early inflammatory status, are contextually exposed to an oxidative stress related to metabolic abnormalities occurring in obesity" (Di Renzo. 2010).
    Figure 3: A significant reduction in insulin sensitivity is only one of the consequences of the pro-inflammatory effects of a "dad belly"; it's also the trigger for a cascade of events that will (often) end with the transition from normal-weight to regular obesity or the transition from the marital to the hospital bed (Romero-Corral. 2009).
    Put simply: Despite not having to wear an XXL or XXXL shirt, the inflammatory status of normal-weight obese men and women is similar to the one of their significantly overweight peers and the health-consequences are (almost) identical, too.

    It is thus hardly surprising that the cancer risk of "mom and dad body"-worshipers or rather those who are being worshiped for their "mom and dad bodies" is going to be significantly increased. After all, metabolic stress is among the primary triggers of all forms of cancer (Jin. 2007)
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Ok, I have to admit: Not every "dad body" would qualify as "normal-weight obese" according to the official definitions (this is mostly, because the guys who have a "dad body" are also overweight according to the BMI definition, which obviously makes things worse, not better), but if we actually tell people that it's fine to let their waists go, what do you think is going to happen. Is this going to help decrease the prevalence of people who's weight is ok, but whose organs are drowning in visceral fat? I don't think so, do you? | Comment on Facebook!
References:
  • Kim, Sohee, et al. "Normal-weight obesity is associated with increased risk of subclinical atherosclerosis." Cardiovascular Diabetology 14.1 (2015): 58.
  • Kosmala, Wojciech, et al. "Left ventricular function impairment in patients with normal-weight obesity contribution of abdominal fat deposition, profibrotic state, reduced insulin sensitivity, and proinflammatory activation." Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging 5.3 (2012): 349-356.
  • Marques-Vidal, Pedro, et al. "Normal weight obesity: relationship with lipids, glycaemic status, liver enzymes and inflammation." Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 20.9 (2010): 669-675.
  • Jin, Shengkan, and Eileen White. "Role of autophagy in cancer: management of metabolic stress." Autophagy 3.1 (2007): 28-31.
  • Oliveros, Estefania, et al. "The concept of normal weight obesity." Progress in cardiovascular diseases 56.4 (2014): 426-433.
  • Romero-Corral, Abel, et al. "Normal weight obesity: a risk factor for cardiometabolic dysregulation and cardiovascular mortality." European Heart Journal (2009): ehp487.
  • Shea, J. L., et al. "Body fat percentage is associated with cardiometabolic dysregulation in BMI-defined normal weight subjects." Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 22.9 (2012): 741-747.