Truncal obesity is body fat that has accumulated around one’s middle. Particularly common around the stomach in men and the hips in women, truncal obesity is an indication that the common causes of obesity have started to kick in and a sufferer has a less than ideal amount of excess weight.
Truncal obesity varies from ‘normal’ overweightness by its specificity. Normally, obese people put on weight relatively evenly through their entire body. Normal biology suggests that all animals put on weight in areas to avoid damage to their reproductive system. Hence, women tend to put on more weight in their hips and thighs and avoid their pregnancy-bearing stomachs, whereas men put on their weight around their torso and leave the genitals exposed.
Sufferers of truncal obesity put on larger than normal amounts of fat around their midsection, often making them seem disproportionately overweight compared to others with the same BMI. Some etymology: ‘truncal’ means ‘of the trunk of the body’, and ‘obesity’, in medical terms, means having a body mass index – that’s the BMI that everyone refers to – of over 30. For defintions and explanations of how normal obesity is determined, read this article, What Is Obesity?
Types of Truncal Obesity
So, we know that truncal obesity is when your body’s fat accumulates around your midsection. For obvious reasons, truncal obesity can also be called ‘abdominal obesity’. Truncal obesity is often a cosmetic concern for women. When they suffer from truncal obesity, rather than filing out their figure in the hips and legs where women commonly put on weight, the development of a ‘big belly’ can be unsightly and embarrassing.
In common terms, truncal obesity basically changes someone’s body from a ‘normal’ shape to an ‘apple’ shape, as opposed to the ‘pear’ shape that is commonly seen amongst the overweight. With the weight sitting higher up than normal on their bodies, sufferers of truncal obesity feel that their legs and arms are disproportionately thin, emphasising their weight.
Truncal obesity and health dangers
Having any excess body fat above a standard range is unhealthy. The more overweight you are, the greater the risk of the onset of chronic and serious illnesses. In particular, adult onset diabetes is extremely debilitating and can lead to painful and difficult to treat complications.
Unfortunately, suffering from truncal obesity as opposed to ‘normal’ obesity only makes the problem. worse. This is because the fat is concentrated around the belly and digestive systems, as opposed to hanging off the legs, hips, and buttocks, essentially being attached to stacks of muscles.
This additional burden on one’s body massively increases the chance of developing serious illnesses, particularly diabetes or heart disease. As with all forms of obesity, truncal obesity also weakens the immune system, decreases sexual performance, can trigger bouts of depression and other mental disorders, and is universally acknowledged as reducing the quality of one’s life.
Treatment of truncal obesity
Luckily, as much as truncal obesity carries greater health risks than normal obesity, it is treatable in the same manner. The obvious solution to truncal obesity is to lose weight, either by reducing your caloric intake of food or by increasing the expenditure of calories through exercise. A combination of both is strongly preferred by health professionals and obesity experts.
What about sit-ups?
Please, feel free to do them as part of an exercise regime. Properly done sit-ups and crunches build the abdominal core, which improves posture, digestion, circulation and breathing. While sit-ups can be painful, helping get rid of sore backs seems almost worth it!
Unfortunately, though, you’ll need to do other things as well. Sit-ups are great for building up your abdominal muscles, but not fantastic at burning fat. And the calories that you do burn doing sit-ups will melt off your entire body.
That’s right. You can’t ‘spot-target’ fat. There is no compelling evidence to suggest that any of the hundreds of ‘targeted exercises’ spruiked by informercials and shady promoters work. Why? Because that’s just how the body looks at things. It reduces what’s going in to a simple equation: are the calories burnt greater than the calories consumed? If so, then fat is burnt to balance out the fuel equation.
In order to fight truncal obesity, I recommend a change in diet as recommended in the dozens of comprehensive articles posted on the website, an exercise regime that involves gently increasing amounts of cardiovascular exercise, and strict tracking and measurement of progress. An intelligent approach to weight loss will be enough to deal with any truncal obesity problems.
Truncal obesity and surgery
Cosmetic surgery, like liposuction, is not appropriate to deal with large amounts of fat because of the resultant trauma and blood loss. There is information in the weight loss surgery article, but let me summarise:
– Liposuction is a cosmetic treatment, best suited if at all for small corrections and cosmetic procedures
– Gastric Bypass Surgery can have dramatic results but requires life-altering changes and a commitment to medical intervention for the rest of one’s life
– Other surgical options sometimes presented, like self-administered laxatives, purging (vomiting) and hypnosis are at best doomed to failure and at worst extremely harmful, and may be indicative of a psychiatric unwellness.