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Researchers: People might be thin outside, but fat inside

first_imgAccording to Bell, people who are fat on the inside are essentially on the threshold of being obese. They eat too many fatty, sugary foods – and exercise too little to work it off – but they are not eating enough to actually be fat. Scientists believe we naturally accumulate fat around the belly first, but at some point, the body may start storing it elsewhere. Still, most experts believe that being of normal weight is an indicator of good health, and that BMI is a reliable measurement. “BMI won’t give you the exact indication of where fat is, but it’s a useful clinical tool,” said Dr. Toni Steer, a nutritionist at Britain’s Medical Research Council.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LONDON – If it really is what’s on the inside that counts, then a lot of thin people might be in trouble. Some doctors now think that the internal fat surrounding vital organs like the heart, liver or pancreas – invisible to the naked eye – could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin. “Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat,” said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create “fat maps” showing where people store fat. According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. “The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined,” said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council. Without a clear warning signal – like a rounder middle – doctors worry that thin people may be lulled into falsely assuming that because they’re not overweight, they’re healthy. “Just because someone is lean doesn’t make them immune to diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease,” said Dr. Louis Teichholz, chief of cardiology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, who was not involved in Bell’s research. Even people with normal Body Mass Index scores – a standard obesity measure that divides your weight by the square of your height – can have surprising levels of fat deposits inside. Of the women scanned by Bell and his colleagues, as many as 45 percent of those with normal BMI scores (20 to 25) actually had excessive levels of internal fat. Among men, the percentage was nearly 60 percent. Relating the news to what Bell calls “TOFIs” – people who are “thin outside, fat inside” – is rarely uneventful. “The thinner people are, the bigger the surprise,” he said, adding the researchers even found TOFIs among people who are professional models. last_img read more

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More oil facilities targets

first_imgMANAMA, Bahrain – A day after the first attack on Saudi Arabia’s vital oil infrastructure, the Saudi branch of al-Qaida warned in an Internet statement Saturday that suicide bombers will target more oil facilities. “There are more like them who are racing toward martyrdom and eager to fight the enemies of God,” the posting said. “You will see things that will make you happy, God willing.” A strike on the Abqaiq complex, near Saudi Arabia’s eastern Persian Gulf coast, could have been devastating. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s oil flows through the facility for processing before export. The attack, which was claimed by al-Qaida and repelled by Saudi security services, demonstrated Saudi Arabia’s success in putting tough security around the oil industry, the source of the royal family’s wealth, oil analysts said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Two suicide bombers in explosives-packed cars traded fire with police at a checkpoint before a gate in the first of three fences around the sprawling, heavily guarded complex. One bomber collided with the closed gate, exploding and blowing a hole in the fence, a senior Saudi security official said. The second bomber drove through the hole before police opened fire, detonating his car, the official added on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Witnesses on Friday reported that security forces traded fire with gunmen outside the facility after the explosions and that a hunt for attackers continued for hours. Saudi officials have not reported the capture of any assailants. At least two attackers and two security guards were killed, the state news agency reported. Eight foreign workers at the facility – all from South Asia – were wounded, a former Aramco employee told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. In another Web statement, al-Qaida said it carried out the attack “based on the instructions of our leader, Osama bin Laden” and identified the two slain suicide bombers as Abdullah Abdul-Aziz al-Tweijri and Mohammed Saleh al-Gheith. It denied that the bombing was foiled and gave its own account of the attack. It claimed that al-Qaida fighters overcame guards at the gate, killing three and forcing others to flee. The fighters then opened the gate for a car that entered and blew up, it said, without specifying what the blast targeted. The authenticity of the statements could not be independently confirmed. Crude oil prices jumped by more than $2 a barrel on world markets after the attack. But Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi swiftly issued assurances that the violence did not affect oil operations. On Saturday, he stressed to U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez at a meeting in Riyadh that the kingdom would “ensure the flow of oil despite the terrorist threats.” Al-Qaida militants launched a campaign of violence in Saudi Arabia – bin Laden’s birthplace – in 2003. Attacks on oil infrastructure could represent a new tactic. Previous targets were peripherally related to the oil industry – expatriate oil workers living and working in the kingdom. Bin Laden first called for attacks on oil facilities in December 2004. Analysts and diplomats said Friday’s events were proof that increased security at oil installations has paid off for the Saudi kingdom. “It’s a success story,” said Fareed Mohamedi, head of country analysis at Washington-based PFC Energy. “It’s a bit too close for comfort, but it certainly shows that they can repel these types of attacks.” Mohamedi said the Saudi government typically places remote sensors in the desert surrounding oil complexes and several fences around the facilities themselves. About 25,000 security personnel man checkpoints on roads leading to the facilities and gates into the compounds. Saudi security forces have largely had al-Qaida’s branch in the kingdom on the run over the past year, arresting hundreds of suspects. They killed or captured all but one of the top 26 militants on a most-wanted list issued in December 2003, then did the same with 10 of the 15 on a second list issued in June. Friday’s attack was the first major strike since December 2004, when five gunmen attacked the U.S. Consulate in the Saudi port city of Jiddah. Five consulate employees from the Middle East and Asia and four attackers were killed. Ten people were wounded. Analysts said it was too early to say whether the Abqaiq bombing signaled a new, aggressive campaign. But the choice of oil facilities should increase concerns, they said. “If the Saudi system goes down, then you will have a real problem, and for oil prices, the sky is the limit,” Mohamedi said. “You’re attacking the absolute heart of the world oil system.” Saudi Arabia holds over 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, a quarter of the world’s total. It currently puts out about 9.5 million barrels per day, or 11 percent of global consumption. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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