That Dangerous Belly Bulge

ReduStim uses low-frequency electromagnetic waves to target both superficial fat and the more harmful visceral fat

It is well-known that having excess fat in the body is unhealthy, but did you know that fat around the mid-section is particularly dangerous?

Unlike the “pinchable” type called subcutaneous fat that is found just under the skin, the more dangerous visceral fat cushions the internal organs and is stored deep in the mid-section. Research has shown that excess visceral fat is linked to a host of life-threatening diseases.

Dr Kevin Chua of Dr Kevin Chua Medical and Aesthetics said an increased amount of such fat around the organs and intestines may impede the way the body metabolises sugar. This may lead to a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. Excess fat around the waist has also been linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal disorder in women that can cause fertility issues.

All of us have visceral fat, but when is it a cause for concern? According to Dr Chua, individuals who have a Body Mass Index of 25 and above, and a waistline of more than 90cm for women and 100cm for men have a higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. The overall risk of cardiovascular disease also increases if the person smokes or has high blood pressure, he added.


Any excess energy is laid down as fat throughout the body, but where the fat is distributed differs between men and women. In general, men usually develop an apple-shaped body while excess fat tends to accumulate around the hips in women, Dr Chua said.

Age also plays a role in fat accumulation. As metabolism slows with age, older people may find it harder to lose weight and keep excess weight off.

There is also another reason why extreme dieting may not be effective in reducing fat in the long run.

“Fat is the last resource of energy used by the body,” Dr Chua explained. “We tend to burn off what we eat, such as sugars and carbohydrates. Even if you go on a starvation diet, your body will turn to protein (your muscles) as a source of energy before it uses your fat stores.”

There are, however, some ways to get around the battle of the belly bulge with the use of medical technology.

ReduStim by BioStimology is a medical device that uses low-frequency biomagnetic waves. It stimulates a reduction of body fat stores through muscle contraction around the viscera.

Other non-invasive fat reduction techniques in the market may target the superficial subcutaneous fat but not the deeper fat deposits around the internal organs, Dr Chua said.


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