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HEALTH


RICHARD BERCUSON Gut-wrenching news Fat tummies are bad. Very bad


Disclaimer: The following discourse, sprinkled with dollops of rant, may cause undue and permanent damage to male self-esteem. Sex, violence, nudity, profanity, and a propensity to gluttony may either be the result or cause of the aforementioned damage. Reader discretion is kind of advised.


Are you a male over, say, 45 years old? If not, skip to an article in this magazine


about waterboard torture or self-mutilation with a cattle prod; in other words, anything that is harmless. If you are over 45 though, read on at


your own risk and kindly consider the above disclaimer. The following questions must be answered


with instantaneous Yes or No responses. 1 - When you enter a room, does your navel arrive well ahead of time?


2 - Do you avoid restaurant booths because you can’t squeeze in?


3 - Do you tie your shoelaces using mirrors and hanger hooks?


4 - Do you keep spare buttons handy for when shirts pop open?


5 - Do you actually believe that the male gut is sexy? If it is, to which other Earth species?


If you answered Yes to any of these, you


own a gut. This is not to be confused with a cute tummy or love handles. I mean a large, roundish, belt-stretching, pant-ripping male gut.


According to dietitian Jennifer Sygo, what


accumulates around the waist is called visceral fat, the fat that’s inside our bodies and around our organs.


8 BOUNDER MAGAZINE “It is different from the fat that we


usually concern ourselves with, otherwise known as subcutaneous fat,” she noted in a recent National Post column. “Visceral fat is metabolically active and behaves much like an organ. Excess visceral fat leads to the secretion of mini hormones...which in turn increase harmful inflammation, contributing to insulin resistance (the step before diabetes) and plaque formation (the precursor of a heart attack or stroke) over time.” In short, fat tummies are bad. Very bad. How bad? Let’s look at a study because


very smart people get money for them, often our tax dollars, and they tell us interesting things that (successfully) scare the bejeezus out of us. Anyway, this study was American and so we should believe it more because we didn’t actually pay for it. Unless you’ve gone to Vegas or New York or Florida recently and spent money. Anyway, researchers from the American


Cancer Society discovered that having a waist larger than 47 inches (43 for women) more than doubled the risk of death compared with men who had 36-inch waists. Furthermore, as if we needed more convincing, just a four-inch increase in waist circumference increased the risk of death by 16%. On the lighter side, the median age for


men in this study was 69 years old. I suppose then that a 50-year old guy reading this might conclude he has 19 years of gut-building to go before things get dicey. Not so fast, buddy. Every piece of research


points to the same conclusion. The large male gut can lead to heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, some cancers, sleep apnea, low


continued on page 18 www.bounder.ca


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