Belly fat–lots of people have it!
Where does being fat and overweight come from?
The answer is… lifestyle and environment.
Over the past few years, national attention has started to focus on the main contributors to the obesity epidemic in the United States: too much fast food, too many soft drinks, and lack of physical activity. The movie Super Size Me tells one man’s story of eating only McDonald’s food for one month, and the damage it did to his health.
Since 1980, the total number of obese and overweight Americans has doubled. California ranks 36th in adult obesity with 22.7 percent and 32nd in childhood obesity with 13.2 percent. Obesity is second only to smoking as the most preventable cause of death.
The percentage of children who are obese has more than tripled since the 1970s.
Seventeen percent of kids are now obese, which means they are at or above the 95th percentile for weight in relation to height; an additional 17 percent are overweight, or at or over the 85th percentile.
The high sugar and fat content of fast food, combined with lack of exercise, creates a chain of events that put the body into chemical stress. Chemical stress creates the hormones that create the belly fat.
The digestive system is down-regulated when the body is under stress and one of the symptoms is belly fat. There are four basic body types that determine where fat is distributed in the body; liver, ovary, thyroid and adrenal, and each one of these affects the other.
How your body utilizes the carbohydrates and sugar that you eat determines the ratio of two hormones, insulin and glucagon. Both are released by the pancreas; glucagon is released when blood-sugar levels are low, and insulin is released when blood-sugar levels are high. A higher proportion of insulin means that more sugar will be stored as fat. A higher proportion of glucagon means that more fat will be broken down and will be used as either building materials or fuel for the body.
When our system is stressed in any of the areas of the Triad of Health; structural, chemical, or emotional, the body responds with the same stress response, no matter the source. The brain stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol, which acts on the liver to break down glycogen into sugar for “fight-or-flight” which in turn triggers the release of insulin. The insulin brings the sugar into play for action, and if none is needed by the muscles, the sugar goes back to the liver. If not needed there because the liver has reached its maximum capacity for it, it goes to fat storage.
Thus, as our bodies adapt to a chronic state of stress, say a structural or emotional stress, our hormones become out of balance creating an additional chemical stress on our system.
In the body, everything truly does affect everything else.