Obese men with beer bellies may be at greater risk of weak bones and fractures than obese men whose fat tends to gather in the thighs and buttocks, a small study suggests.
Previous research has shown that belly fat is bad for women's bones. So when a recent study showed that obese men have more fractures than their non-obese counterparts, Harvard researchers wanted to find out if the type of fat mattered in men, too.
"What we found is that obese men with deep belly fat had much, much weaker bones than other obese men," says researcher Miriam Bredella, MD, a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School.
The study doesn’t prove cause and effect. Still, "men need to be aware that excess belly fat is a risk factor not only for heart disease and diabetes, but also for bone loss," she says.
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