Visceral fat, the fat we carry around the waist and the fat surrounding the organs is recognized as a risk factor for increased chronic systemic inflammation.
Systemic inflammation is the type of inflammation which affects the whole body. It is different from the local acute inflammation we see when we, for example, sprain an ankle and it swells up. The local acute inflammation which is a response to an injury is not harmful. It is a part of the body’s defense and also a part of the healing process.
Chronic systemic inflammation is however increasing the risk for many diseases and is not useful. Chronic inflammation is deleterious to bone and the fat we carry around the waist triggers chronic inflammation.
The relationship of visceral fat and bone density was investigated in the study reviewed here (Russell M, et al. 2010). The participants were girls 12-18 years old. Half of the participants were obese and the other half of normal weight. The regional fat content was measured using MRI. Bone density was measured and also several inflammatory markers.
The visceral fat (fat carried around the waist) was found to be an independent determinant of bone density in obesity and was related to a chronic inflammatory state.
This means that a big waist even in young girls is associated with a lower bone density.
Eating habits, which will help reduce systemic inflammation and keep you lean, is important from a young age and throughout life.
It is also important to support your bones with specific nutrients to help your bones stay strong and healthy from a young age.