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How and where fat is stored predicts disease risk better than weight
Date:4/16/2008

ans and obese patients to pursue more aggressive interventions before they develop metabolic syndrome, rather than after the onset of disease, as is customary, Dr. Wang said.

The new results complement earlier findings by diabetes researchers at UT Southwestern who investigated why mice genetically engineered to be obese are at no more risk of developing metabolic syndrome than normal mice. The results of that study, which was led by Dr. Philipp Scherer, professor of internal medicine and director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research, also suggested that its not the amount of body fat, but where it is stored in the body that appears to matter most to health.

Dr. Unger said the most recent findings, like Dr. Scherers, in no way condone obesity.

Its best to eat only what you need to replace the energy you burn, he said. But, if you eat more than you need, as most Americans do, its better to put the surplus calories in fat cells than in the rest of the body because fat cells are designed specifically for fat storage. You wont be as trim, but youll be healthier, Dr. Unger said.

The study results also imply that any gene that impairs the ability to store fat in the fat cells likely predisposes an individual to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, Dr. Unger said.


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Contact: Kristen Holland Shear
kristen.hollandshear@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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