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Fat Mass

Amount of stored fat in the body

Fat mass is all the extractable lipids (fat cells) from adipose (fat tissue) and other tissues in the body. The higher the fat mass the lower the muscle mass which reduces the body’s metabolism. One of the most common forms of obesity is sarcopenic obesity. Sacropenia is the loss of muscle mass and the increase in fat mass. Some patients may even look slim but are “sacropenic obese”. Weight loss is not really the main issue but rather how the weight is lost in the body. Fat loss and muscle gain are far more important than just overall weight loss which can be a combination of muscle and fat loss or just muscle loss.

“Sarcopenia is the backdrop against which the drama of disease is played out: a body already depleted of protein because of aging is less able to with stand the protein catabolism that comes with acute illness or inadequate protein intake.”
– Journal of American Medical Association 286(10) (2001)

“Muscle is the major source of protein for functions such as antibody production, wound healing, and white blood cell production during illness. If the body’s protein reserves are already depleted by Sarcopenia, there is less to mobilize for illness.”
– Journal of American Medical Association 286(10) (2001)

“BIA may be clinically useful for demonstrating sarcopenic obesity in women at normal body mass indices, with additional studies necessary to determine the metabolic reasons underlying this change in body composition.”
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996; 64:472S-477S

“According to most recent statistics, over 97 million Americans (61 percent) are overweight, and this number is increasing every year.  Overweight is the most common type of altered body composition and is associated with a high incidence of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and dyslipidemia.  Data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicate that these conditions alone account for more than $100 billion in health care expenses annually.”
Lerman et al., Body Composition and Optimal Health Applied Nutritional Science Reports, © 2002 Advanced Nutrition Publications, Inc., page 1

Consider also information from the journal, Health Affairs.  “The study found that obesity — linked to health complications including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers — raises a person’s healthcare costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent.
Smoking and drinking also cause serious health problems, but the study, released by the journal, Health Affairs, found that active smoking leads to a more modest 21-percent rise in healthcare costs and 28-percent increase in medication costs, with smaller effects seen for problem drinkers.”
– Study: Obesity Harder on Health than Smoking, By Deena Beasley (AOL Health News)