If you store more fat in your belly than in your hips, your cells are likely to be resistant to insulin which puts you at high risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and premature death. In one recent study, researchers measured insulin resistance and compared it to several risk factors for diabetes in men and women: 1) heart-lung fitness; 2) whole-body fatness and 3) abdominal obesity (Diabetes Care, March 2006). They showed that lack of physical fitness and overweight are very significant predictors of diabetes in men and women and that the single most important measure of insulin resistance is storing fat in the belly rather than the hips.
Storing fat in your belly causes you to store excess fat in your liver, which interferes with its function of removing insulin from your bloodstream after it has done its job of driving sugar into cells. When your blood sugar rises after meals, your pancreas is supposed to release enough insulin to keep it from rising too high. If your cells cannot respond to insulin adequately, you are called insulin resistant, your blood sugar rises too high and your pancreas releases huge amounts of insulin. When your blood sugar rises too high, sugar sticks to cells. Once there, the sugar cannot get off the cells and is eventually converted to a poison called sorbitol that destroys the cells to damage nerves, arteries and other tissues throughout your body. Excess insulin acts on your brain to make you eat more and on your arteries to cause heart attacks. More