How Can You Know If You Have Excess Visceral Fat
The simplest way of trying to evaluate the amount of visceral fat in our bodies is by measuring our waist circumference. "This is not the same as the waist measurement on your pants." Kirkman said. "It needs to be done with the tape measure right at the top of your hip bones, and horizontally around the abdomen as you are standing."
"Find your body mass index or BMI, then measure your waist circumference if your BMI is less than 35," Kirkman said. If your BMI is higher than 35, it's most likely a given that you have visceral fat in addition to subcutaneous fat.
Kirkman recommended this approach particularly for people of Asian descent, because it doesn't take much excess visceral fat for them to have increased risk of type 2 diabetes or other medical problems. "A waist circumference of 40 inches or greater in men or 35 inches or greater in women is considered too high. In Asian Americans, those cut-points are 35 inches in men and 31 inches in women."
What's tricky is that someone who looks very much to be in great physical health can still have excess visceral fat. "It's known to occur in athletes who consume large amounts of simple carbohydrates, despite their high level of exercise," Machineni said.
Plus, as our bodies age, the amount of subcutaneous fat reduces and the amount visceral fat increases. "Therefore, even when our overall weight is the same, as we age we have a significant increase in visceral fat," he said. "Waist circumference is not an accurate measurement of visceral fat, but is a reasonable compromise," he added.