Big belly hard on the lungs

March 6, 2009 1:39:08 PM PST
A thicker waistline is known to raise the risk for heart disease and diabetes, and now there's concern that belly fat may be hard on your lungs as well. A study involving more than 100,000 people found both men and women with wide waists had decreased lung function.

This latest discovery will be added to a long list of health problems already associated with belly fat.

Researchers have been learning more and more about abdominal fat, which tends to surround internal organs and seems to be particularly damaging. Fatty tissue can increase levels of inflammation throughout the body, which may contribute to poor lung health.

Another theory is the excess weight compresses the lungs and impairs breathing through force alone.

There is more on this study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.