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Fat cells behave differently around our waist and our thighs, says new research

Fat cells in our thighs multiply as we put on weight, where as the fat cells around our waist get bigger, changing the effect they have on our health, according to a new study.

Researchers hope the findings may begin to explain why there are more health risks from fat around the waist compared with fat around the thighs.

Our senior cardiac nurse, Cathy Ross, said: “This small study supports what we already know about the harmful link between the location of fat in our bodies and the increased risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

“We cannot choose where we store our fat and some people are more likely to put weight on around their middle than others. But it is important to remember that you can be a 'healthy' weight and still have a large waistline putting your heart health at risk. In particular, people from South Asian backgrounds often put on weight around their waists instead of their hips and thighs.

“Making small sustainable changes to our lifestyles can help us keep our weight and waistlines in check - and in doing so, help to reduce our risk of serious illnesses.”

Check out our Active Fat campaign for more information on the risks of belly fat and how to stay healthy.

The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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