Researchers call it abdominal adiposity. People refer to the expanding waistline as a tubby tummy.
Packing on pounds around the belly has become increasingly common. According to the CDC, the average American waistline has been growing for the past 14 years.
The average waist circumference rose from 37.6 inches in 1999 to 38.8 inches in 2012. Men gained almost an inch whereas women gained an inch and a half.
The number of people categorized as having abdominal obesity went from 46 percent in 1999 to 54 percent in 2012. Waistlines greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women qualify as abdominal adiposity.
Belly fat is especially worrisome because it contributes to metabolic syndrome and the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
This is a troubling development, since a person could have fat around the middle without becoming overweight according to the scale. A healthy lifestyle overall will help to offset this risk factor, but to actually drop inches from the waistline, we haven’t found anything better than a low-carb diet.