Diet therapy

It’s not how fat but where we are fat that counts

Have you looked around lately? On the bus, at the bank, in the supermarket and our schools. We are all getting fatter. Now take a second look at where that fat is located.

The location of fat

The two most important places are around our neck and centrally around our abs.

The Tongue

The first place that we put on weight is apparently our tongues. As our tongues and necks get fatter we start snoring more at night. As we enter the deeper stages of sleep and our tongue relaxes it obstructs our airway and we wake up.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is one of the leading causes of:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • less exercise
  • stress
  • accidents in the work place and on the road
  • increased obesity

Reducing body fat by as little as 10% can really help to solve the problem.

The Tum

Between our nipples and our navel sit the detergent bottles for our body. Our gall bladder, pancreas and liver. When we eat fat and sugar these organs squeeze out insulin, bile acids and salts that break the fat and sugar down.

The more we gather weight centrally the harder it is for these organs to do their job. It’s abit like having a clogged up sink. The fat and sugar gather in our blood and we get diabetes and heart disease.T he problem gets worse as we get older but it is also now affecting our children at a younger age.

Tips to help

The good news is that you can solve the problem:

  • Increase exercise to 4-5hrs/wk
  • Cut down on fried foods, biscuits and takeaways
  • Drink more water and milk and less soft drink
  • Reduce meat intake to half the size of your palm
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables.
  • Save money by cutting back on alcohol. Aim to get 7 glasses of wine from a bottle not 4-5 and know when to stop.
  • Measure yourself around the tummy. If you are expanding and not pregnant you have a problem. Talk to your doctor and contact us today.

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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