: Menopause Shifts Weight to Middle
The menopause does not make you fat but the
estrogen deficiency that comes with it shifts fat to your middle.
And a fat tummy increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and
even dementia, an Australian researcher said Wednesday.
"Weight creep with age is primarily lifestyle and independent of
the menopause," Monash University endocrinologist Susan Davis said.
"Women who do not change their weight, shift fat to their abdomen and
get more like the male pattern of carrying central fat."
Professor Davis is the lead author of a review of all the studies
on menopause and weight gain published in the journal Climacteric to
coincide with World Menopause Day on Thursday.
She said keeping the "spare tyre" in check was critical.
"Fat produces chemicals that are really bad for your metabolism,"
the Melbourne-based researcher said. "Pulling out a tape measure and
measuring the abdominal circumference is a very strong crude
predictor of metabolic risk."
Davis, a board member of the International Menopause Society, said
hormone replacement therapy (HRT) did not contribute to weight gain
and that there was "good evidence that HRT can prevent abdominal fat
increasing after menopause."
She said worries over adverse health effects from HRT were abating
after an international scare campaign.
"The pendulum's swinging back for HRT not being terrible," Davis
said. "We do know that estrogen therapy at menopause will partly
ameliorate this central body fat accumulation and may go towards
preventing diabetes and other risks."
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