TODAY | February 01, 2010
>>> and now today's health. and the phenomenon dubbed skinny fat. our recent " wall street journal " article warns that just because the scale says you're thin and you look skinny on the outside, doesn't mean you're healthy on the inside. so what are the dangers? well nutritionist and "today" contributor, joy bauer is here to tell us. joy, good morning.
>> good morning, al.
>> now you get, you lose your weight, but you still may be obese on the inside?
>> normal weight obesity or skinny fat is basically when you look super-slim and trim, you have a healthy bmi, that's your body mass index . when you step on the scale you have a light or appropriate number. but at the same time you have a high worrisome proportion of body fat , which promotes inflammation throughout the body. and increases your risk for obesity-related conditions. like heart disease , like type ii diabetes and metabolic syndrome . so even though you look healthy on the outside, your insides may not be doing so great.
>> and according to the study, 30 million americans?
>> 30 million americans, yes. this was eye-opening.
>> now, is it more predominant with men or with women?
>> no. it's across the board. we have a couple of women here. but really across the board.
>> how do you know whether you're, you've got skinny fat?
>> well what we did, we did our own little experiment. we took a handful of women and we had an expert, jeralyn cooper smith, an exercise physiologist , she used skin fold cap perfects and tested their body fat . these were all women with healthy body mass indices, their normal weight.
>> we brought a couple of people back here from the survey. we've got nancy .
>> and diane .
>> and you're going to take a look at both of them. both of them are wearing skinny jeans , they've got it going on. but one is fit and one is skinny fat. can you guess which one?
>> i have no idea.
>> first of all, i don't want to get smacked by either one of them.
>> they both look pretty fabulous.
>> i have no idea, you've got to tell me.
>> let's look at diane first. diane looks fabulous, she exercises regularly. she doesn't weight-resistant training as well. her body fat clocks in at a super-fit 19%. that's unbelievable off the charts.
>> so now, we're going to look at nancy . nancy , on the other hand, is is a genetic lean machine, she's never had to work at this fabulous body she doesn't exercise, she does not closely watch her diet and her body fat clocks in at 27%. now --
>> is that getting into the more dangerous range.
>> she is considered skinny fat, she is at risk for all source of obesity-related illnesses.
>> nancy , when you found out, what did you think?
>> i was floored. when joy gave me my number, i was floored. i said, oh my goodness, all this time i've been genetically blessed. weight was not an issue. diet and exercise were not a priority. now knowing what i know, it back-fired, i have to work out more and put more effort into my health.
>> what causes this, joy? what's the difference between the two women?
>> exactly that. you can't judge a book by its cover is the big message here. it's not enough to be thin. weight is not the sole indicator of your health status. you have to watch what you eat, you have to regularly exercise, both cardioand walking and dancing and light weight training.
>> diane , you work out on a pretty regular basis.
>> i do cardiofive days a week and strength training five days a week and i watch what i eat.
>> is it's not just the weight, you've got to work at this?
>> nobody gets a free pass. whether you're skinny or whether you're fat, you have to make health a priority. you've got to eat right and exercise. and you also got to get to the doctor and know your number, that's a snapshot as to what's going on on your insides. your cholesterol, your blood pressure , your blood sugar . it all matters.
>> doing this body-fold fat test, is that really accurate? or should you go to your doctor to get a more accurate reading.
>> it's a great question. doctor offices right now are not testing body- fat percentage . maybe in a few years they'll start incorporating this as regular exams. i think if you have access to a gym and you have an expert that can do these body-fat compositions, great. home skaels are now incorporating the measurements, they're not too pricey. there's margins for error.
>> they do an inner scan?
>> yes. but the message is not to scare everybody out there.
>> no, just to depress us.
>> no, no, no. that, too. just to know that if you take care of your diet and you regularly exercise, and you get your numbers checked, you will make sure that you're in good shape.
>> nancy , what are you going to do now to get the number down?
>> i'm going to exercise and watch what i eat and work hard.
>> woo hoo . amen.
>> and diane , you can lay off and have a twinkie.
>> al roker ! wrecking the segment.