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BIG BELLY COULD SPELL DANGER

Overweight women who saw Jacelyn Tay's Instagram post had mixed reactions to it.

Housewife Chan Joong Li, 39, who is 1.64m tall and weighs 75kg, said: "Her post was like a wake-up call for me.

"I've been overweight since young, but because I've always been confident of my curves, I've never bothered with my fat.

"I will be going to take the body composition test to assess my risk for diseases and I will have to lose the weight if need be.

"I have two young kids so I want to be healthy so that I can take good care of them."

Businesswoman Glenda Lee, who is 1.7m tall and weighs 90kg took a different view, acknowledging that Tay had a right to hers.

Said the 25-year-old: "I do health screenings every year and have always been in the pink of health.

"I am a fat woman who is healthy. This is possible, just in case everyone who reads Jacelyn's post suddenly starts trying to lose weight because they get scared.

"My advice to people is to get their health checks done. If there is nothing wrong (with your health), then just be happy with the size that you are."

VISCERAL FAT

While health coaches and fitness trainers The New Paper spoke to differed widely on weight loss methods and what it meant to be fat, they did agree on the idea that visceral fat can be harmful to health.

An excess of visceral fat is known as central obesity, or "belly fat", in which the abdomen protrudes excessively.

Newly-developed tests such as the Body Volume Index are specifically designed to measure abdominal volume and abdominal fat.

Excess visceral fat is linked to Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammatory diseases, and other obesity-related diseases.

Said Ms Samantha Giles, health coach and founder of health centre Sprouting Wholeness:

"I can tell you that where you accumulate fat (visceral fat in particular) increases the risk of developing certain diseases.

"When I work with clients I don't just focus on losing fat per se, because losing fat is complex and involves things like getting inflammation under control, getting hormones balanced and managing stress levels."

Mr Jovin Koh, 28, fitness trainer and owner of sports and fitness company Brand New Start, who also saw Tay's Instagram post, said that she may have what is termed "skinny fat".

He said: "This means that one may look slim but may actually have fat.

"I think that most woman are very critical about themselves, always thinking that they are fat.

"I think this is shaped by the demands of their job and their own insecurities.

"(In my opinion), for body fat to affect your health, an individual needs to be very overweight, consume junk food daily, have irregular meal timings and a lack of exercise and lead a sedentary lifestyle."