Excess abdominal fat may increase the risk of migraine headaches in young and middle-aged adults report researchers from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. In their recent large-scale study, people aged 20 to 55 who had larger waistlines were more likely to have migraines than those with smaller waistlines. However, among those older than 55, total body obesity wasn’t associated with migraine in women or men.
Excess abdominal fat also appears to be linked with diverticulitis, diverticular bleeding, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. In a recent study published in the Journal of Stroke, researchers found those who had a waist circumference greater than 40.2 inches for men or 34.6 inches for women, the risk of stroke increased more than 4-fold compared with individuals with a normal waist size. In general, women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches may have an increased risk for the above diseases.
A recent small study has found that periodic, intense exercise is best for burning the fat around the midsection. While any type of exercise is helpful, people who want to reshape their figures may need to boost the intensity of their workouts, researchers have found. Their study followed 27 middle-aged obese women. They found that those who exercised at a higher intensity for four months successfully shed fat from their midsections while those who exercised at a lower intensity showed no such changes in body fat.
It’s very important to note that anyone new to exercise should start off slow and gradually build the intensity, duration and frequency of workouts. Older adults and people with chronic health conditions should talk to their doctors before becoming more active.
Source: Dr. B. Lee Peterlin, of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, American Academy of Neurology news release, February 2009
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