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  • Question 1/14

    Belly fat is worse for you than fat elsewhere on your body.

  • Answer 1/14

    Belly fat is worse for you than fat elsewhere on your body.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Excess accumulation of belly fat is more dangerous than excess fat around your hips and thighs. Belly fat is associated with serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Your genes can contribute to your being overweight and help determine where you carry this extra fat, but poor lifestyle choices are likely to worsen the issue.

  • Question 1/14

    Fatty foods, such as butter, cheese, and fatty meats, are the biggest cause of belly fat.

  • Answer 1/14

    Fatty foods, such as butter, cheese, and fatty meats, are the biggest cause of belly fat.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Eating high-fat foods is not helpful, but excess calories of any kind can increase your waistline and contribute to belly fat. Still, there is no single cause of belly fat. Genetics, diet, age, and lifestyle can all play a role. Changing dietary habits can help you fight the battle of the bulge and fight belly fat: Read labels, reduce saturated fats, increase the amount of fruits and veggies you eat, and control and reduce your portions.

  • Question 1/14

    Calories from alcohol are worse for belly fat than other calories.

  • Answer 1/14

    Calories from alcohol are worse for belly fat than other calories.

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    • Correct Answer:

    Excess calories -- whether from alcohol, sweetened beverages, or oversized portions of food -- can increase belly fat. Our bodies need calories, yet gram for gram, alcohol has almost as many calories as fat. 

     

    Alcohol does seem to have a particular association with an increased waistline, though. In general, that’s because when you drink alcohol, your liver is too busy burning off alcohol to burn off fat, leaving you with a beer belly. Studies show that alcohol can cause you to feel hungry by affecting hormones that regulate a sense of satiety.

  • Question 1/14

    Which of the following fats not only can make you gain weight, but also can move fat from other parts of your body to your belly?

  • Answer 1/14

    Which of the following fats not only can make you gain weight, but also can move fat from other parts of your body to your belly?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Researchers at Wake Forest University found that trans fats, which are created by partially hydrogenated oil, increase the amount of fat around the belly and redistribute fat tissue to the abdomen from other parts of the body. Trans fats may be found in such foods as margarine, pastries, cookies, crackers, and fried and convenience foods.

  • Question 1/14

    Which of the following shows promise for fighting belly fat?

  • Answer 1/14

    Which of the following shows promise for fighting belly fat?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Green tea, in combination with exercise, could help you lose weight, according to the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers think substances in green tea known as catechins stimulate the body to burn calories and enhance loss of belly fat. Blueberries also show promise, at least in rodents. In one study, rats bred to become obese were fed either a high-fat diet or a low-fat diet rich in blueberries. Rats fed a blueberry-rich diet had less abdominal fat.

  • Question 1/14

    Fast food can contribute to belly fat because the items are often:

  • Answer 1/14

    Fast food can contribute to belly fat because the items are often:

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Many fast-food options are typically high-fat, calorie-dense foods that are eaten in large portions -- all of which contribute to overconsumption of calories, weight gain, and an increase in belly fat when eaten frequently. Many fast-food restaurants don’t provide nutritional information, but studies have shown that when this is available, people tend to pick lower-calorie meals.

  • Question 1/14

    Substituting diet soft drinks for regular soft drinks is a good way to trim belly fat.

  • Answer 1/14

    Substituting diet soft drinks for regular soft drinks is a good way to trim belly fat.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    According to the American Heart Association, “soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugars in the American diet.” Added sugars mean added calories -- something you want to avoid to help with weight loss and cut down on belly fat. Yet, high-fructose corn syrup has gradually replaced refined sugar as the main sweetener in soft drinks and has been blamed as a potential contributor to the obesity epidemic.

     Does switching to diet sodas help? Although some research has suggested that people who drink artificially sweetened sodas as part of a calorie-restricted diet do lose weight, other studies have suggested that diet soft drinks could even lead to weight gain. 

  • Question 1/14

    To help trim your waistline, you should eat a diet high in fiber.

  • Answer 1/14

    To help trim your waistline, you should eat a diet high in fiber.

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    • Correct Answer:

    To trim your waistline, add whole grains to your diet. For example, choose brown or wild rice instead of white rice. Refined and other highly processed foods can contribute to weight gain and interfere with weight loss. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionshowed that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains can trim extra fat from the waistline of obese subjects.

  • Question 1/14

    Studies suggest you can trim your waistline by replacing refined grains with whole grains. Which of the following is a whole-grain food?

  • Answer 1/14

    Studies suggest you can trim your waistline by replacing refined grains with whole grains. Which of the following is a whole-grain food?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Couscous, spaghetti, and cornflakes are made from refined grains (though whole-grain options may be available). But popcorn is a whole-grain food that can boost fiber. The best way to prepare popcorn is with an air-popper, which requires no oil for cooking. Read labels to see what oils have been added to microwave popcorn.

     

    All else being equal, whole grains are better than refined grains because they tend to be high in fiber and take longer to digest. This satisfies your hunger better and helps lower blood glucose levels and reduce fat.

  • Question 1/14

    Men tend to collect more belly fat than women.

  • Answer 1/14

    Men tend to collect more belly fat than women.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Overall, men tend to store fat in the abdominal area more than women do, thanks to sex hormone differences. Before age 40, women tend to store most of their fat in the hips, thighs, and buttocks. After 40, as estrogen levels drop, body fat is redistributed to the abdomen.

  • Question 1/14

    Belly fat is harder to lose than fat elsewhere on your body.

  • Answer 1/14

    Belly fat is harder to lose than fat elsewhere on your body.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    When you lose weight, you’re much more likely to lose it in your midsection. Losing weight on a well-balanced plan will melt body fat, including belly fat. The best way to decrease your waist size is through healthy eating and regular exercise.

  • Question 1/14

    Spot exercises, such as sit-ups or crunches, target belly fat.

  • Answer 1/14

    Spot exercises, such as sit-ups or crunches, target belly fat.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Doing sit-ups, crunches, or other abdominal exercises will strengthen your core muscles and help you lose fat, but they don’t specifically work on belly fat. In other words, spot exercise won’t decrease belly fat. The only way to lose belly fat (or any kind of fat) is through dieting and exercise. Aerobic exercises, such as running, swimming, cycling, and tennis, are some of the best to help reduce body fat.

  • Question 1/14

    Belly fat has been linked to which of the following health problems:

  • Answer 1/14

    Belly fat has been linked to which of the following health problems:

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Belly fat appears to be especially bad for the heart. Studies have linked belly fat to heart failure, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular problems. It also has been associated with osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, colorectal cancer, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

  • Answer 1/14

    Which of the following is the best plan for reducing belly fat?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Most scientific evidence suggests that a calorie-controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs, and poultry is the foundation for a diet that provides all the nutrients you need while helping to whittle your waistline. Weight loss experts recommend combining this diet with 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

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    RESULTS: Good job -- you’re ready to burn that belly fat!

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    RESULTS: Not bad, but if you really want to lose that belly fat, check out the related links below.

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    RESULTS: You won’t lose belly fat that way. Take the quiz again, or check out the related links below.

Sources | Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, RD, LD, MPH on May 16, 2016 Medically Reviewed on May 16, 2016

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, RD, LD, MPH on
May 16, 2016

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REFERENCES: 

WebMD: The Truth About Belly Fat

WebMD: The Risks of Belly Fat

WebMD: The Belly Fat Cure

WebMD: The Truth About Beer and Your Belly

WebMD: The Flat Belly Diet 

WebMD: Why Fat Doesn’t Disappear Where You Want It To

WebMD: Eat Trans Fat, Get Big Belly 

WebMD: 10 Amazing Disease Fighting Foods

WebMD: Blueberries May Banish Belly Fat

WebMD: Why Belly Fat Hurts the Heart

WebMD: Belly Fat Is the Worst for Your Heart

WebMD: Heart Failure: Belly Fat Bad, Exercise Good

Medscape Medical News: "Exercise Plus Isoflavones May Improve Body Composition in Postmenopausal Women."

Medscape Today: "Visceral Obesity as a Risk Factor for Colorectal Neoplasm."

Medscape Medical News: "Intake of Whole Grain Foods Linked to Lower Levels of Visceral Adipose Tissue"

Medscape Medical News: Abdominal Obesity Associated With Risk for Stroke and TIA

Harvard Women’s Health Watch: "Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It."

American Psychological Association: "Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Weight Gain."

U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Inside the Pyramid: What Foods Are in the Grain Group?"

News release, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Collison, K. BMC Public Health , May 9, 2010.

Maki, K. The Journal of Nutrition , February 2009.

Sites, C. Fertility and Sterility , December 2007.

Seymour, E. Journal of Medicinal Food , October 2009.

Stender, S. International Journal of Obesity , published online April 24, 2007.

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.