As a Registered Dietitian, I start out most nutrition counseling sessions questioning my clients about their weight history. I’ve had many clients report that their weight has been the same since college, but then when I ask if their WAIST size has changed since college, I get a different answer…some will say “Not much. Maybe its increased by 1 or 2 inches” others might say “Probably a 3-4 inch increase”. Then, I explain how the number they see on the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s more about where your fat is stored. Excess abdominal fat, otherwise known as excess visceral fat, surrounds the organs and is the type of fat that can increase one’s risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Here is some good information explaining the importance of Waist Management over weight management (the article focuses on men, but excess visceral fat is a concern for women too).
At Princeton Longevity Center, our Comprehensive Exam includes a visceral fat measurement along with a body composition analysis to look at your overall body fat and muscle mass. All of these results help us to fully assess your “weight” status so that we can provide you with the information that your scale can’t.
Karen McPartland, RD, CSSD