Omentum Fat

By Dr. Rick Tague

One Moment…ummm…what’s an Omentum?

Omentum Fat by any other name is still the same…Belly Fat, Beer Gut, Abdominal Fat, Spare Tire, Visceral Fat, Intra-Abdominal Adiposity (IAA)…it’s the “sheet” of unhealthy fat located deep inside the abdomen, underneath the muscles in your stomach.  There are three primary kinds of fat: the fat in our bloodstream known as triglycerides, subcutaneous fat which is the fat just beneath the skin, and omentum fat.  Omentum fat is readily available to the liver, and then shipped off to the arteries where it can be linked to health risks like high LDL (the bad cholesterol).  It’s this fat that is especially harmful to your health!

Omentum fat inhibits the secretion of adiponectin, which is a stress and inflammation reducing chemical that’s related to the hunger-controlling hormone, leptin.  If you lose the omentum fat, you will secrete more adiponectin which reduces inflammation and the diseases attributed to it!  Low levels of adiponectin contributes to abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and conditions associated with coronary artery heart disease.  Once your body starts to lose this abdominal fat, blood related numbers such as cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar can start moving in a healthy direction.

The Omentum is becoming a hot topic.  Nine states have reported more than 30% of their residents are obese!  A scant 10 years ago, not one state reported such a high number according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control).  Only two states, Colorado and the District of Columbia, have an obesity prevalence of less than 20% (MMWR 2010; 59).  The nine states reporting such high numbers of obese citizens:  Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

In our previous Newsletter, we discussed BMI and Waist Circumference as tools in determining your optimal weight.  Waist circumference specifically addresses the omentum fat issue.  Remember, the guidelines are for men to measure <40 inches at the belly button and women to measure <35 inches.  It is estimated that more than half of men and 70% of women age 50 to 79 in the U.S. are above these numbers!  In a prospective study by Dr. Jacobs (Arch Intern Med 2010), he found that there is relatively consistent data that shows that a larger waist circumference is associated with higher mortality, independent of weight and BMI (each 3.9″ increase in waist produced a 16% increase in risk of dying for men and 25% increase for women).

So, get out those tape measures and check your omentum!  The measurement should be <40 inches for men and <35 inches for women at any point above the hips and below the umbilicus.

If you need help in trimming your belly fat…give the Center for Nutrition a call at 1-877-273-8446 and let our caring and professional staff set up a FREE consultation for you to review your health goals today!

Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M. is a nutrition & weight loss specialist and the Founder & Medical Director of the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, P.A.

Dr. Tague is an Alpha Omega Alpha honors graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Tulane. Dr. Tague is board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. His medical practice has focused on optimum health, nutrition, and weight loss since 1996.

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