Diet for a slimmer belly
Obesity has assumed epidemic proportions globally; in India 15-20 percent of the population is clinically obese. Those affected face increased risk of ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, gallbladder stones, knee joint problems, neck and lower back pain, respiratory ailments and various cancers and infertility. They also suffer from low self esteem and confidence, depression and binge eating disorder.
Visceral, central, or abdominal, obesity refers to belly fat around the waist, surrounding the internal organs, which is out of proportion to total body fat. Indians are more susceptible to this type of obesity. Belly fat is a proven independent risk factor for the medical conditions listed above, even in the absence of overall obesity.
A genetic predisposition may increase one’s tendency to put on visceral fat. But obesity – general and abdominal – is often the result of imbalance between food eaten and energy burnt during physical activities. When caloric intake exceeds the calories burned, extra calories get deposited as fat, especially around the waist. Hence dietary habits play a critical role in managing abdominal obesity.