Fat is more than an issue of appearance. Fat can lead to multiple chronic illnesses, and obesity is by far the greatest risk factor contributing to the burden of chronic diseases in the U.S. Obesity increases insulin resistance, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Further, obesity lowers HDL cholesterol and places the body in a pro-inflammatory state.
Fat retention in the body is detrimental because fat cells networked together act as an endocrine organ. These endocrine secretions preserve and promote tumor progression, increasing the host’s consumption of nutrients. If you suddenly developed a large tumor in your right arm, you would likely pay attention to it. A tumor is merely a word that describes “swelling” and is further defined as “a swelling of a part of the body, generally without inflammation, caused by an abnormal growth of tissue, whether benign or malignant.” Think of fat as a tumor that is also an unregulated endocrine organ, and yourself as the host of this parasitic swelling.
Type 2 diabetes, with all of its excessive insulin levels, can also be thought of as signaling peptides promoting fat tumor production.
My point is not to create anorexics, but to have clinicians and patients recognize the significance of fat as more than an issue of appearance. Fat is metabolically active and is self-preserving.