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A healthier way to look at body fat
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
You need some body fat for optimal health. However, where it’s stored may affect your risk of health problems.
Americans have a big weight problem. According to the CDC, about 42% of men ages 60 and older are obese, storing excess body fat. "But body fat in itself is not the issue, as your body needs a certain amount of fat to stay healthy," says Dr. Caroline Apovian, co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. "Rather, excess stored fat and especially its location in the body have the greatest impact on health."
Body fat facts
Here is how your body stores fat. When you eat, the main components of food — protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fat — are broken down and mostly metabolized as energy to fuel the basic biological processes that keep you alive and kicking.
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About the Author
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
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