Abdominal obesity, also known as central or truncal obesity, is a condition when excessive visceral fat around the stomach and abdomen has built up to the extent that it is likely to have a negative impact on health. 

It is also called visceral or male-type or "apple-type" obesity.

An expanding waistline is sometimes considered the price of getting older, when body fat tends to shift to the abdomen. Obesity, especially abdominal obesity, is central to the metabolic syndrome and is strongly related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in younger women and to menopause in older women. 

When BMI is used as a measure of obesity only a modest association with cardiovascular risk factors is found. However, when abdominal obesity measurements, such as waist circumference or waist:hip ratio are included as a measure of abdominal adiposity a strong association with cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome risk factors is found. Interestingly, there are also normal weight individuals who are regarded as 'metabolically obese' due to the storage of ectopic fat around the viscera whilst maintaining a normal BMI.


In 1997, abdominal obesity was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Consultation on Obesity Committee, as a proxy measure to be used to refine BMI levels, especially in populations with predisposition to central obesity.

Evidence from a study demonstrated that increased abdominal obesity was associated with systemic inflammation as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP).

The trouble with belly fat is that it's not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat — which lies deep inside the abdomen, surrounding the internal organs, esp. liver. Although subcutaneous fat poses cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol
  • Breathing problems

Research also associates belly fat with an increased risk of premature death — regardless of overall weight. In fact, some studies have found that even when women were considered a normal weight based on standard body mass index (BMI) measurements, a large waistline increased the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. 


There are various ways of measuring abdominal obesity including:

  • Absolute waist circumference of more than 40 inches (>102 cm) in men and more than 35 inches (>88 cm) in women.

  • Waist–hip ratio (the circumference of the waist divided by that of the hips of >0.9 for men and >0.85 for women)

  • Waist-stature ratio (waist circumference divided by their height, >0.5 for adults under 40 and >0.6 for adults over 50)

  • Sagittal Abdominal Diameter It should be under 25 cm (9.8 in). When this measure exceeds 30 cm (12 in) it correlates to increased cardiovascular risk and insulin resistance.

    SAD is a strong predictor of coronary disease, with higher values indicating increased risk independent of BMI. For men in their 40s, a SAD greater than 25 cm also predicts significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease 30 years later.


Abdominal obesity has been strongly linked to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other metabolic and vascular diseases. It can develop to morbid obesity within a short period of time. Severe abdominal obesity is accompanied by hyperinsulinemia that commonly leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, systemic inflammation, and eventually to diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. 

Abdominal (visceral) obesity is thought to be the predominant risk factor for metabolic syndrome and as predictions estimate that 50% of adults will be classified as obese by 2030, it is likely that metabolic syndrome will be a significant problem for health services and a drain on health economies.  Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of at least three out of five clinical risk factors: 

  • abdominal (visceral) obesity, 
  • hypertension, 
  • elevated serum triglycerides, 
  • low serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and 
  • insulin resistance. 

It is estimated to affect over 20% of the global adult population.

Conventional Treatment: 

Abdominal adiposity is a reversible condition, and its reduction can have excellent effects in diminishing cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome risk. However, the conventional medicine has very less to offer in this regard. There are almost no medicines to support the liver directly or to reduce the belly fat.

Homeopathic Treatment:

There are whole lot of drugs which can help in managing the condition. A few important medicines to be considered are discussed as under:

Ammonium mur: It is particularly useful for abdominal obesity. It is definitely a great but an under-used medicine which is especially adapted to fat, puffy and sluggish people with thin limbs, who always feel tired and sore and who tend to have respiratory troubles with liver symptoms. Also, they have large buttocks.

Antim crude: These patients have tendency to grow fat. It is pre-eminently a scrofulous medicine. Patients eat beyond the capacity of their digestion or without discrimination, therefore they suffer from bloating or whole lot of digestive symptoms. They also tend to have a fat body with thin limbs.

Calcarea carb: It is an important remedy for obesity in the young people. There is an increase of fat in abdomen. Abdomen is large and can be hard. There is distension with hardness. Incarcerated flatulence may cause distension. It is also indicated in children who grow fat, are large bellied with large head, pale skin, chalky look. They are flabby children rather bloated than solid, pale but flushing easily. 

Calcarea phos: These patients while resembling strong points with Calc-c, are generally emaciated instead of fat. However, they also have large and flabby abdomen and are anaemic with weak digestion and scrofulous or gouty constitutions.

Graphites: It is to be considered in young girls around puberty and also in women around menopause who have a tendency to put on unhealthy fat. The typical Graphites patient is fat, relaxed, chilly and constipated. They suffer from alternate digestive and skin symptoms.

Helonias: Indicated in aged females, esp. multipara who are also diabetic with pendulous abdomen. It is a uterine remedy with great power. 

Kali carb: It is suited to persons of soft tissues with tendency to be fat. These women can develop abdominal obesity after pregnancy or after loss of fluids. When associated with hypertension, weakness, lethargy and backache, no medicine can act better than it. 

Lycopodium: It is an important liver remedy indicated in people with upper part of body wasted, lower semi-dropsical, lean and predisposed to lung and hepatic conditions. Obese body with thin legs. It is usually indicated in men of keen intellect, feeble muscular development and receding hair. Weal liver with poor digestion. Ascites from liver diseases. 

Phosphorus: It is indicated in slender persons or young people who grow too rapidly. It is also an important medicine when it comes to fatty degeneration of liver and the complaints associated with it. Although they are usually lean patients, but they can develop abdominal obesity as a consequence of liver diseases. It also corresponds to fatty degeneration of pancreas with gastric symptoms and oily stools. Fatty and amyloid degeneration of the kidneys.

Sepia: It is indicated in women with pendulous abdomen who have borne many children. Potbelly of mothers with brown spots on abdomen. They can even faint from least exertion, leuco-phlegmatic constitutions with yellow-saddle across the nose. It is an important medicine for hormonal imbalance in women.

From a wholistic perspective, Homeopathy has much more to offer. Given the direct link between abdominal obesity and systemic inflammation it is not surprising that even modest reductions in abdominal adipose tissue are accompanied by improvements in metabolic function and reduced cardiovascular risk. With proper medication and right lifestyle abdominal obesity along with its later complications can be very well managed thereby improving the general health of the patient. 

The Healthy Way: 

Evidence shows that one of the single most important lifestyle changes for the prevention of many chronic diseases is exercise. 

Regular and consistent exercise reduces abdominal obesity and results in favourable changes in body composition. As a consequence, exercise is now recognized as a medicine in its own right and should be prescribed as such.

Using appropriate medicines at the right time might save you from unnecessary hospital visits, chaos and a long-term illness. Timely intervention might help you save your time, energy and money. Self-diagnosis and self-medication are never recommended. Visit your Homeopathic physician before taking any medicines. For online consultation or any related queries consult our expert homeopathic doctors and book an appointment with us.

Disclaimer: The author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.