Researchers have now learned that men with “beer bellies” (i.e. excess fat around the middle – beer belly is an unfortunate misnomer) are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men with subcutaneous fat spread more evenly throughout their bodies. I’m not really sure why this comes as a surprise.
It was my understanding that the reason that overweight people were at lower risk of developing osteoporosis was due to the weight bearing component of carrying excess weight around. I suppose if excess weight is centred around the belly, it’s still excess weight and in theory, there should at least be decreased risk of developing osteoporosis in the legs and hips. Still, it seems more logical that if each limb is forced to bear excess weight, it is more likely to reap the weight bearing benefits.
While this study provides more support for preventing excess abdominal weight gain, I’d still be interested in seeing more research done in this area. I’m curious how healthy weight individuals would fare in relation to the overweight individuals in both categories. Also, would weight loss alone be enough to reduce the risk of osteoporosis? Is it the abdominal fat alone that is causing the increased risk or is it actually due to other aspects of their lifestyle; such as diet and exercise? Or perhaps there is a genetic component.