Central obesity

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US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Central obesity

NICE Guidance on Central obesity


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Symptoms of Central obesity

Causes & Risk Factors for Central obesity

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Treatment of Central obesity

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List of terms related to Central obesity

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Central obesity (or "apple-shaped" or "masculine" obesity) occurs when the main deposits of body fat are localized around the abdomen and the upper body. Central obesity is correlated with visceral fat.


Central obesity is common in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and metabolic syndrome, and it is associated with a statistically higher risk of heart disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes mellitus type 2.

Central obesity can also be a feature of lipodystrophies, a group of diseases which is either inherited, or due to secondary causes (often protease inhibitors, a group of medications against AIDS). Central obesity is one of the primary symptoms of Cushing's syndrome.

There is little scientific evidence that beer drinkers are more prone to abdominal obesity, despite it being known colloquially as beer belly, beer gut, or pot belly.


Drug Side Effect


Central obesity is diagnosed by measuring the waist-hip ratio. When this exceeds 1.0 in men or 0.9 in women, central obesity can be diagnosed.


Weight loss is the main intervention against central obesity when this is considered disfiguring or when it puts one at a risk for the above mentioned diseases. Adjunctive therapies are the use of orlistat or sibutramine.

In the presence of diabetes mellitus type 2, the physician might prefer to prescribe metformin and thiazolidinediones (rosiglitazone or pioglitazone) as anti-diabetic drugs rather than sulfonylurea derivatives.

Love Handles

"Love handles" is a colloquial or slang term for a layer of fat that is deposited around a person's midsection, especially visible on the sides over the abdominal external oblique muscle. They are called "love handles" because they provide a soft place to rest one's hand while one's arm is around a person, or perhaps because they can serve as places to hold on while in the throes of passion.

Love handles are more common in men than women, as the midsection is one of the first regions where fat is stored in the male body. (Women tend to accumulate fat around the hips and thighs). Love handles generally become more pronounced as a person ages and approaches middle age, due to a lower activity level.

Both men and women tend to be image-conscious regarding love handles, sometimes leading to a negative body image. While many products are marketed for eliminating love handles, it is generally agreed that spot reduction is impossible, and that the best way to reduce them is to lose fat by being more active (through activities such as cardiovascular exercise and weight training) and consuming fewer calories.

Love handles are also colloquially called a spare tire due to the enlarged tire-like shape around the midsection

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