Why “Skinny Fat” Can Be Worse than Obesity

It’s no secret that being overweight or obese can increase your risk for numerous health problems, including stroke, some cancers, heart disease, and depression. What many people don’t realize, however, is that we can suffer all these problems even if we’re normal weight or underweight.

Scientists have even coined a phrase for this phenomenon: “thin on the outside, fat on the inside,” or TOFI. Instead of being “overweight,” these people are “under-lean” (i.e., they don’t have enough muscle) and have a little extra weight around the middle, or “belly fat.” TOFIs have the metabolic features of a prediabetic obese person: Low muscle mass, inflammation, high triglycerides, low good cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

In today’s episode of my series I’m calling Health Bites, I am talking about “skinny fat,” why it can be worse than obesity, and how to address it.

Back to Content Library