Adipocytes (Fat Cells) at a Glance


kids health, obesity, weight loss, fat loss, fat cells, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, liposuction, lifestyle habits, tips from townThis article is a Fat Cell 101 if you will. As weight loss (or as I prefer, fat loss) is our theme this week I thought it vital to understand the enemy, so to speak, and to know that fat cells are not really our nemesis, as we do need them to survive. The fat cells in our bodies provide protection by cushioning our bones and internal organs. They are also essential for the storage and transport of numerous hormones and vitamins our bodies need to survive. However, we all know what too much fat can do to our bodies, as in heart disease and a plethora of metabolic disorders. What once seemed predominantly an adult problem is now rampant among children of all ages causing debilitating and chronic health problems that lessen and may actually destroy these kids’ quality of life. BUT, the good news is fighting obesity in children may be easier than in adults and here’s why:

It all comes down to the Size versus Number of fat cells one has.

The NUMBER of fat cells (hyperplasia) is determined during childhood beginning in the last few month In utero until about age 20.  After adulthood is reached your fat cell numbers are essentially set for life. After this point, the amount of fat you have is determined by the SIZE (hypertrophy) of each fat cell. Well, sort of…

Both size and numbers are affected by a person’s lifestyle habits – namely diet and activity levels. Contemplate what foods your family consumes? What is the ratio of time your child (and you for that matter) spends being sedentary (sitting) than being active? We, as parents, could be perpetuating this problem by teaching our kids harmful lifestyle habits. In essence, multiplying their fat cell numbers while they are in our care. Then as adults, our kids take all we have taught them, including those nutritional and exercise habits thus possibly increasing the size of their fat cells.

If that’s not upsetting enough, until just a few years ago it was thought fat cell numbers were set, but guess what? Those little devils WILL increase in number if you feed them enough. Research has shown that cells that get beyond a certain volume will split in two thereby increasing their numbers. By the way, liposuction studies have shown that the fat cell numbers will replenish (just maybe not in all the same spots).

As parents, we are responsible for the health of our future generations. We need to arm ourselves with knowledge and understanding. It is our best defense for battling this epidemic. By teaching our children good nutritional habits and instilling the importance of daily activity, they will have a fighting chance against obesity and all its related health crises.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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