An Australian study shows that women – but not men – with more abdominal fat are less at risk of bone fracture. This may explain why global rates of fracture are declining at the same time as obesity is increasing.
Abdominal fat is an important risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the authors of the study are by no means recommending that women should gain abdominal fat to protect their bones.
While they do not yet have the data to prove it, the authors believe that the protective effect of abdominal fat in women probably relates to higher levels of oestrogen. Women with more abdominal fat tend to have higher levels of oestrogen, which protects against bone loss, and therefore fracture risk.
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