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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019 Feb;73(2):231-235. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0320-x. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

Changes in body composition and metabolic disease risk.

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Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Columbia Institute of Human Nutrition, New York, NY, USA.


As individuals gain weight, they increase the amount of fat that they accrue on their body. This causes adipocytes to enlarge and increases not only subcutaneous fat but also deposits fat in other vulnerable areas of the body. This ectopic fat is deposited in the intra-abdominal visceral fat depot, in muscle, in the liver and in the beta cells. Fat in these locations initiates a dysfunctional state in these insulin-sensitive tissues leading to insulin resistance, the appearance of the Metabolic Syndrome, and an increased risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A loss of weight and with it a loss of fat decreases this risk.


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