Almost 90% of people in the UK do not know what visceral fat is, but nearly two-thirds said they were more motivated to lose weight after hearing about the associated risks, researchers said today.
The National Obesity Forum called for greater public awareness of the so-called hidden fat that surrounds abdominal organs and which, in excess, increases the risk of life-threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They urged Britons to shun unsustainable fad diets in favour of understanding the dangers of visceral fat and motivating themselves to lose weight sensibly.
Professor David Haslam, the forum's chairman, said: “Fad diets, which usually promise quick fix weight loss, are unsustainable. They can actually do more harm than good. Invariably weight is put back on, with some of the weight regained accumulating as visceral fat.”
In the UK, about two-thirds of men, and more than half of all women, were overweight in 2007, the NHS Health Survey for England showed.
The survey of 2,000 adults in the UK by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare also found 64% resolved to lose weight this year but, of the people who had previously dieted at new year, 86% admitted to being unsuccessful.