Women's Health Australia

Big Fat Truths

Being skinny-Fat is a real thing

And turns out, it’s no less damaging than obesity. But first, a little science lesson. In healthy individuals, body fat provides insulation and a store of energy. A 60kg woman with 25 to 30 per cent fat mass can carry up to 650,000 kilojoules worth of fuel to be used when needed. Just think of it as your emergency race-day energy gel.

The problem, then, is less about how much fat you’re packing, and more about where you’re packing it. “When you exceed your capacity to store subcutaneous fat – under the skin – you experience an overspill,” says nutritionist Dr Adam Collins. In other words, that packet of energy gel splits open, fat leaks

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