Awareness of the health risks brought on by belly fat -- visceral fat that expands in deep into the abdomen among vital organs -- has increased significantly since 2005 when only forty percent of Americans knew of the increased dangers posed by growing waistlines. Belly fat is a primary symptom for metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors that increase the risks of heart disease and stroke. Research shows that visceral (belly) fat breaks down into fatty acids which then moves quickly into the liver and into muscle. It increases the risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease and raises the production of LDL 'bad' cholesterol and triglycerides.
There are more serious concerns about those extra inches around your waist than buttoning your jeans. Belly fat is not limited to the extra layer of padding known as subcutaneous fat, it also includes visceral fat.