New body scanner to I.D. visceral vs. subcutaneous fat

Several weeks ago I was fascinated to watch on the March 26 “The Doctors” tv talk show,  an interview with Mary K. Oates, MD, a Santa Monica, CA doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation. (I thought all doctors were doctors of physical medicine excepting psychiatrists, of course.)  Dr. Oates has developed a new scanner to identify visceral vs. subcutaneous fat. She has been doing “observational research study comparing body composition by DXA technology using the GE Prodigy system to older methods for estimating body fat, muscle mass and bone mineral content. Resting Metabolic Rate was also correlated to body composition measurements. The first portion of this research was presented at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research in 2006.  See

Why should corset enthusiasts care? Most likely those considering permanent figure reshaping thru corsetry vs. the more drastic step of liposuction, tummy tuck, or gastric banding, should be aware of these fat measurements in order to fairly evaluate options and choose the best solution to a concern about weight or shape. In addition, knowing these facts can provide an early warning system as to when one’s body is approaching obesity, and remedial action is indicated.

How soon this technology will be available to the common person and family doctor, remains to be seen. Sadly, I’ve read that many doctors don’t even bother to weigh their patients, or comment upon expanding waistlines. Don’t forget this fact learned from Dr. Oz: women with waistlines 35″ and over, and men with waistlines 39” and over, should attend to their weight and move below those figures. A tape measure one easy way to keep a focus on your health, and might indicates time to try corset waist-training before going under the knife!

Lipo sucks out subcutaneous fat; but it is the deep or visceral fat surrounding organs such as the heart and liver that cause the most risk of poor health. I’ve read about research that even suggests that having lipo might encourage the growth of visceral fat thereafter! It behooves us all to do our research carefully before beginning to tinker temporarily or permanently with our body.


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