Guest Commentary: The dangers of belly fat — a personal experience

Published 6:50 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

By Zoltan Kiss

Ph.D.; CEO of PLAP Therapies

In this article I take the opportunity to share my personal experience related to belly fat or abdominal obesity as it is called in professional circles. Even though as a scientist studying metabolic conditions in animal models, including health consequences of being overweight or obese, for (too) many years I had belly fat and until about eight months ago I really didn’t lose sleep because of it. I kept reassuring myself that having some belly fat wouldn’t hurt me.

Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth. Increasing number of scientific papers have been published in a relatively short span of time showing that belly fat is a serious risk factor for numerous health conditions. The list includes high LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, increased loss of muscle proteins resulting in muscle weakness and less mobility, chronic low-grade inflammation, general obesity, cardiovascular diseases, various cancers (colon, rectal, intestinal, breast, ovarian, endometrial gastric, kidney, thyroid, skin, etc.), and increased mortality of the elderly.

Confronted with these results, several years ago I started to fund research to find out how it might be possible to eliminate belly fat along with the associated negative health conditions using a human protein which goes with the short name of PLAP. The research, protected by an international patent application, yielded very promising results in young and old animal models of belly fat, and now it will be time for human trials. To serve as the vehicle for performing human trials, I recently also started PLAP Therapies, my only biotechnological company, which I named after PLAP.

Then, last summer I had a heart attack, which I suspect was caused by the combined effects of my belly fat and the stress of developing new companies. After considering these possibilities I decided to reduce my workload, which I did, and attempt to lose my belly fat through exercise and diet which I also did. Starting my new lifestyle eight months ago, by now I lost roughly 30 pounds from 190 down to 160. I have not tried any specific meal plan, I just cut the portion of food I used to eat in half or less combined with moderate exercise.

Based on my experience, my take home message is this: Take belly fat seriously and try to lose it. Up to 30% of the adult population is affected by it, and the number of people with belly fat is increasing with age. Older people with belly fat represent a particularly vulnerable segment of the population because their ability to exercise is limited. These are the people who will be helped the most by PLAP. Until PLAP will be available, eat less and try to walk more. Your body will be thankful for that.