Brunhuber: Because visceral fat has an inflammatory effect, a diet heavily laden with animal fats will sooner or later lead to an increase in inflammation. It also means that fewer of the anti-inflammatory fats such as omega-3 and 9 are absorbed with food, provoking an inevitable vicious cycle: inflammation causes pain → which reduces mobility → which leads to weight gain → and additional health complaints → chronic illness increases psychological stress → people then lack motivation to change their lifestyle → and search for comfort in chocolate/food/alcohol.
A diet heavy in fat also increases the risk of arteriosclerosis, more popularly known as hardening of the arteries. This is where cholesterol and other fat deposits lead to the narrowing of major blood vessels such as the carotid artery, coronary vessels, and leg arteries. As a result, the body’s organs receive insufficient oxygen, thereby increasing the risk of organ damage. In Austria, 30,000 to 40,000 deaths a year are attributable to heart attacks and strokes resulting from arteriosclerosis, and around 20% of the population are classed as at risk.
When excessive weight gain, high blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels and an abnormal fat metabolism all appear at the same time, the medical world classes this as metabolic syndrome. In other words, when individual risk factors interact, the risk is not aggregated but exponentiated.