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February 19, 2007 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Fat MRI shows the difference between subcutaneous and deep body fat, and makes some distinctions beyond just apple/pear. Here's another article, same site. I originally found this strange image searching for info on health effects of fat/red meat depending on whether it's mainly pastured as frequently discussed here or mainly unnaturally fed (as per Omnivore's Dilemma.)
posted by Listener (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting stuff. Thanks for linking - I don't think I would have found out otherwise. Thanks also for the even hand in posting/lack of strong editorializing.

Hopefully this one won't turn into a flamefest.
posted by kalessin at 3:10 PM on February 19, 2007


Thanks. Here's a previous one that is somewhat related. I will passionately editorialize about biomimicry and ecological design, not fat. :)
posted by Listener at 3:14 PM on February 19, 2007


Is the strange image a Tripod logo? Cuz that's what I'm getting. Duggmirror plz.
posted by mattbucher at 3:17 PM on February 19, 2007


Well, it was working for me. Here's a slightly different instance of it, since I don't exactly understand "duggmirror" as a request:
posted by Listener at 3:20 PM on February 19, 2007


Tripod doesn't like you to deep-link to their images, apparently. Just copy the URL and paste it into a browser, so there's no referrer for the image: http://lyongo.tripod.com/Fatbig.jpg
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:26 PM on February 19, 2007


Ah, so the reason it works for me when I test it is that I got the Firefox refcontrol plugin that was mentioned here recently.
posted by Listener at 4:05 PM on February 19, 2007


Yeah, might want to turn that refcontrol when linking to stuff here. You could end up linking to tubgirl and not even know it.
posted by bob sarabia at 4:31 PM on February 19, 2007


Must learn to control immediate right-click search behavior when I see a term I do not know.

Tubgirl. Thanks. No breakfast for me tomorrow.
posted by abulafa at 5:02 PM on February 19, 2007


OK, I buy it-- internal abdominal fat is correlated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, as well as other problems.

However, a friend of mine had abdominal pain which lasted about three days before he could be persuaded to go to the doctor. As it turned out, his appendix had apparently burst near the time he first had the pain three days before. A burst appendix even with a much shorter delay in treatment than that is generally fatal. What saved him? According to his surgeon, a thick wall of fat surrounding his appendix contained its septic contents, which would otherwise have spread throughout his abdomen and killed him. He was both slight and slender.

I think this could mean that the internal fat may have some good purpose-- even that the problems the fat is associated with cause it, and that it is one of the body's ways of coping with those problems.
posted by jamjam at 5:26 PM on February 19, 2007


Interesting post, but I'm not sure what the upshot is - don't be content with just looking skinny through diet alone, but get some exercise as well?

A friend's mother summed that one up quite nicely, I think: "A skinny cow is still only a skinny cow, not a gazelle".

Also, a fair amount of strawmannery regarding BMI calculations in these articles, I think. Everybody knows that BMI is notoriously unreliable, as it fails to distinguish between weight from muscle etc v weight from fat. At best, it is only a ballpark guide, and people would be better off if they estimated their body fat using other methods. This needn't include the rather extreme looking MRI tests shown here. Skin-pinching calipers, scales that bounce electric pulses around your body, eating fried chicken whilst immersed in a vat of water...there are so many ways to estimate your body fat.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:57 PM on February 19, 2007


Deep abdominal fat probably gave us an evolutionary advantage (protection of vital organs) at a time when our pattern was to try to store some body fat for leaner times.
Now that those of us with a predisposition to easy fat storage are in the land of plenty (of everything except excercise) it just adds to the overall pressure the organs are under and does seem to have some correlation to diabetes and heart disease, things that probably wouldn't have killed us with a lifespan of 38. (and a better diet)
posted by Wilder at 5:15 AM on February 20, 2007


I guess what interested me about it is that although people slag other people for body fat and defend their attack by saying unhealthy fat people are costing the public health system, it seems to me that you can't look at someone and know whether their fat is harmful. Not that it's any of their damn business, in my opinion, nor are they qualified to make a medical assessment of someone else. And also I just thought the pictures were interesting.
posted by Listener at 7:45 PM on March 5, 2007


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