Normal Weight Is Not the Only Criteria for Fitness: The Obese Normal-Weight Woman

More normal weight women are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in spite of being normal weight and not seeming to have the traditional risk factors for diabetes. In an article about this condition in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings they looked at the factors that cause the condition they now call the 'metabolically obese normal weight' individual and found that diet was the most important reason individuals find themselves in this condition. The key points in the article were that it is possible to be obese, and have too much body fact and be normal weight,  we have to use alternative definitions for metabolic obesity to identify these patients and help them resolve their condition, because they are at risk for cardiovascular disease. One of the most important points in the article was that abdominal obesity was a more important indicator of risk than overall weight. The two diet strategies they found most helpful were DASH (a heart healthy anti-hypertensive diet), and the HEI diet developed by USDA to be able to track how well an  individual were adhering to the food pyramid. Clinically the obese normal weight woman has more fact, especially internal gut (visceral) fat, higher glucose and cholesterol readings, and impaired sensitivity to insulin. The Mayo clinic group estimates that it is possible that up to 30% of women may have this condition. Laboratory testing, monitoring blood pressure, measuring location of the body fat by accurate body composition studies such as in the DXA, can identify this condition. Modifying your risk factors help to prevent long term disease, and even lower the death rate from this condition. For those women who have not been tested for this condition, we encourage them to have a consultation at Women's Health Practice.

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