Monday, January 5, 2009

Apples, Pears, Livers, and Fat

Had you heard about apple fat vs. pear fat? I first learned about it when I was leafing through a Cosmo a few years ago (What? Don't look at me like that. It was for valid research purposes). It was a very helpful article, with silhouettes superimposed over fruits and everything. It made me a better person.

Anyway, the idea was that people with big round apple-shaped beer guts are headed for trouble with all kinds of heart problems, while the people with big behinds and thick legs (making them look kind of pear-shaped) have less to worry about. It's not what fat you're carrying, it's where you carry it, was the idea. It turns out that the article was wrong. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis says that the best way to tell if you are headed for trouble with insulin resistance, cholestoral problems, and the fast track to diabetes and heart disease is to check for excess fat in the liver ("nonalcoholic fatty liver disease").

So now it turns out I've got to worry about whether or not I have a chubby liver. I thought fretting about love handles was bad enough. I mean, what exercises can you do to tone up a liver?

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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