Health Watch — Heart Health: Belly Fat

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about keeping your heart healthy, in honor of National Heart Month. One risk factor for heart disease is belly fat – the “apple” body shape where most of the fat is carried around the middle. Unfortunately, it’s hard to target weight loss from any particular part of the body, so you can’t really set out to lose just the belly fat.

Dr. Amit Khera, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you should aim for overall weight loss, remembering that you need to burn more calories than you consume. To do this, reduce portion sizes, read food labels so you know what you’re eating and make better food choices. Meanwhile, increase your activity levels through regular exercise — at least 30 minutes a day. In addition to helping you lose belly fat, doing these things will also help your heart.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in heart, lung and vascular.


February 2009

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