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A Man's Belly Fat Prevents Him From Breathing Optimally

As you know, belly fat is a far more accurate barometer of heart disease risks and gallstones than body mass index.

Apparently, men have larger waistlines, more belly fat and more problems breathing than women, according to a study of 25 morbidly obese adults (those with BMIs above 39). The differences in breathing between men and women has everything to do with body shapes, researchers said.

Males whose bodies are shaped like an apple tended to have higher waist-to-hip ratios than morbidly obese women with pear-shaped physiques. Pulmonary gas exchange -- the ability of the body to oxygenate blood -- also contributes to the problem. Scientists also believe bigger bellies may also be a reason gastric bypass procedures frequently run into complications.

Your best bet for reducing your belly fat and improving your breathing without a dangerous, unnecessary procedure: A dual approach of an optimized diet -- ideally built around your body's unique nutritional type -- and an exercise plan prescribed precisely to achieve the best results.

Chest, Vol. 131, No. 2, February 2007: 362-367

Reuters February 16, 2007