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Not just belly fat linked to diabetes

People with fat on their chests and upper back have an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, say experts.

Fat around the belly is known to increase the risk of diabetes but scientists have not investigated other body areas before.

"If you have fat up top, it's bad for you," said principal investigator Carl Grunfeld at the San Francisco VA Medical Centre.

In insulin resistance, cells in the body become increasingly resistance to the action of insulin, resulting in chronically high blood glucose levels.

A study of 1185 people measured their fat deposits in legs, arms and upper trunk.

Among participants with fat on their upper backs 61% were insulin resistant, and a third of this group did not have fat around their waist.

"There are people who have a lot of fat in their upper trunk and not so much inside their belly, yet they are at risk for insulin resistance," says Grunfield.

"And there are people with a lot of visceral fat but not upper trunk fat who are in the same boat. But if you've got both, it's a double whammy. Your risk of insulin resistance is quite high."

University of California - San Francisco

Your commens: (Terms and conditions)

"I advise people who are obese that they are at risk of chd/diabetes, but most people do not believe that they will develop problems. It is okay for the goverment and healthcare staff to promote healthy living, but there is a patient at the end of the advice who will take no notice of the health risks you have stated. Obesity now has been classed as a disease so patients feel it is okay to be fat I and get some pills to be treated" - Name and address supplied