There is a difference between belly fat that builds up in your belly and the fat that is found on the rest of your body.
Subcutaneous fat, the rest of body type that is located just below the skin, is relatively harmless health-wise and, apart from spoiling your figure and slightly increasing the strain on your heart and body joints, is no great health risk.
Visceral fat which is found in your belly and which surrounds all your vital organs is a completely different story.
The image to the right is that of an obese man with a BMI of approximately 40. The beige areas on the image indicate the fat deposits.
As belly fat builds up it wraps around your internal organs and begins to place pressure on them. This causes a restriction in the lungs which explains why overweight people tend to get out of breath so easily. The heart is also restricted as well as all the other vital internal organs.
The abdominal pressure builds up in the man on the right at this stage would equal approximately 3 times normal atmospheric pressure. This pressure is often evidenced by normal bodily functions such as the passing of wind. Instead of being a gentle wind being released, it becomes more like an explosion as the unnatural internal pressure on the colon is released.
This is still not the real danger of belly fat though. The real danger is that visceral fat releases toxins into your body and internal organs causing inflammation which then leads to heart attacks and other complications.
Belly Fat releases toxins which cause inflammation
The belly fat that is tightly wrapped around your vital organs, such as the heart and lungs, releases toxins into your body. Due to the proximity of the heart and lungs, these toxins then begin to cause inflammation of the heart especially and can lead to heart attacks and strokes as well as other serious diseases.
As a pure guideline, Doctors consider a man with a waist measurement of over 102cm (40″) and a woman with a measurement of over 88cm (35″) to be at an increased risk of heart problems due to the build-up of belly fat.
Other factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, etc combined with excess belly fat will drastically increase the risk of heart attacks.
If you are at risk due to increased belly fat then I would suggest that you begin to change your habits from today. Do not leave it till tomorrow as the problem will not go away – it will just become worse and more of a health threat that could seriously impact your future.