Fat

In modern society the term "fat" is often used in a derogatory way about someone's weight, yet we all have fat stored around our bodies. Fat is an essential nutrient, which is stored in fat cells (adipocytes) in the adipose tissue. Its main purpose is to act as a reserve of energy in the body, as well as to cushion and insulate the body, so it is essential for survival. However, too much of it can impact negatively on our health.
There are many reasons we store excess fat around our bodies including illness, medications, hormones and genetics, but by far the biggest cause is poor diet/consuming more energy than we need and a sedentary lifestyle.
Fat can be found all over the body. There are two main types of fat – subcutaneous fat (fat stored under the skin) and visceral fat (fat stored inside the abdominal cavity and packed between the organs). Subcutaneous fat insulates the body and is where our excess energy is stored. Visceral fat is hard fat, which is found mainly around the abdomen and around the organs. This is the type of fat associated with obesity related illnesses and disease.
Everyone has fat. We all have a certain number of fat cells in our bodies and this number does not change after puberty. These fat cells will shrink or grow depending on the amount of fat they are storing but it is extremely rare to grow new fat cells. Where we store fat on our bodies is determined by a number of factors. Gender plays a big part. On average, women have 6-11% more body fat than men. Men are more prone to visceral fat around the belly, while women tend to carry fat on their breasts, hips, waist and buttocks.