February 2017

The Question of Fat: The Basics

The issue of fat is one of the most pressing in clinics and consultation rooms today. The health and cosmetic concerns over obesity have created an entirely new market for specialist doctors and medical tourism and public healthcare systems have also begun to cater for fat specific treatments. The issue does not end in the medical world as it also dominates the media and the press as a taboo that celebrities slip in and out of for the camera. It seems that fat is a truly contemporary problem so it is important to educate ourselves about what it really is and what its role is in our bodies. A surprising number of people will not be able to tell you the most basic things about fat so in this article I am to target the most important foundation facts. Firstly, what is fat exactly? Secondly, how does it build up in our bodies and what causes such a thing? With this knowledge at hand we will be better equipped to deal with this diverse medical issue and intriguing modern concern.



The Function of Fat

The best place to start is probably from the fact that our bodies need fats to function correctly. Fat cells are produced in our bodies naturally from the formation of the foetus at birth and after some time the production cycle slows down once a level of growth has been reached. Fat cells are found in certain parts of our bodies that are made up of adipose tissue, a layer under the skin that insulates and contributes to energy metabolism. Our livers are also responsible for the production of cholesterol, a waxy substance that circulates in your blood and helps to produce vitamin D, cell membranes and hormones depending on where it is working. The body itself actually provides the majority of the fat that is required for a healthy biology, especially when it comes to things like cholesterol. The key roles of different fat cells are fulfilled in natural production and distribution throughout the body, there are however fats that enter from food and these are often the causes of the excess fat and the issues that we are so familiar with today.


Fat, Hormones and Food

The external source of food is the main provider of fats that are not naturally produced and it is from these that the balance is changed within us. We get extra cholesterol and fat cells known as triglycerides from foods like meat and dairy, both of which are consumed far too highly in current society. Whilst the fat that comes from food is not necessarily bad and is often required to correct lower body fat indexes, it does contribute hugely to the deposits of fats around our body. The way that fats are stored is largely dictated by our hormones, for example woman experience fat build up around the hips and for men around the belly. The body deposits fats as part of the process of insulation, storage and distribution mentioned earlier but when there are more fats coming in than are necessary the rate at which they are stored can be seen to increase leading to larger deposits of fats.



Hopefully it is clear that fat is something that is in itself natural but when it is coming from the outside it is easy to monitor. Looking out for the foods you eat can seriously help those who are seeking to address weight issues, be it lack of or excess fat. The recent spike in interest over issues of fat has seen a huge increase in the number of diets that claim to regulate fat intake. Chefs have likewise taken to heart the importance of knowing how much of what you are eating and what it is doing to your unique bodily make-up. Doctors and surgeons have also invested much time into procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck, gastric balloon, Spatz balloon and more. The issue does not look like it will settle down anytime soon, and a greater education surrounding it is certainly the greatest thing we can possess in its presence.