Can you be skinny and fat at the same time? Experts say you can and it may be putting your life at risk for life-threatening diseases. Being slender may not be all it's cracked up to be.
"You can't tell by looking at someone how healthy they are and, in fact, your scale is not a very good indication of your health. It gives only one piece of information, not the overall picture of your health," explains Dr. Susan Albers of the Cleveland Clinic.
That's because there's a growing trend of people who suffer from skinny-fat syndrome – they may look thin, but have a high percentage of body fat. That number on the scale, even if it's in a normal or slightly underweight range, doesn't tell if you have excess body fat.
Many skinny-fat people wreak havoc on their bodies by not watching what they eat or not exercising, or both. With skinny-fat people, fat tends to hide around vital organs, especially in the abdominal area. This visceral fat is responsible for diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and other major health issues.
To see if you are at risk for certain conditions, Dr. Albers suggests getting blood work done.
"It can tell you if you're exercising, if you're getting enough nutrition, your vitamins, your minerals. If you're getting enough sleep, your stress level. Blood work gives you a great first start in getting the overall picture of your health," she says.
A blood test can reveal your cholesterol, potassium and glucose levels. And if you are carrying a few extra pounds, you may also consider getting your body fat checked by a professional who can conduct skin fold measurements.
Trimming down your fat not only cuts your chances of developing serious health issues, but also may help you feel and look great, both inside and out.
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