Obesity is a major problem in the UK and in fact most of the world … no surprise there! There is a great deal of talk about fat and how that affects our physiology, but fat has always just been fat. However, more recently, the media has been talking about the different types of fat within the body.

This article aims to discuss the difference between the different types of fat that we have inside our bodies and the roles that they play. For the purpose of this article, we will be discussing brown and white fat, and their roles within the body.

First of all, we will look at brown fat. This is a type of fat that has many blood vessels, which therefore gives it a slightly brown tinge. The key role of brown fat is to produce heat for the body, and it has a major role in helping our bodies stay warm. The amount of brown fat is at its highest when we are in infancy and unable to look after ourselves and keep warm.

The amount of brown fat is exceeded even in lean people by the amount of white fat. This type of fat is more of a storeroom for energy. Brown fat cells contain many small droplets of fat as opposed to white fat, which has a single larger drop. White fat is used in the body as pure storage space for fat that can then be used in energy production. As the body takes on more excess energy and stores it as body fat, the amount of fat stored across the body as white fat will increase. This may then lead to obesity.

The mechanisms of how and why we store fat are very interesting to the fitness professional, and with a true understanding of how obesity works (well, of what we know so far) in the quickly developing subject area, you can stay ahead of the pack and get your clients true results. To find out more about becoming a Level 4 Obesity and Diabetes specialist, click here.

Tom Godwin (@TomForesight) has been involved in the fitness industry for over 18 years and has been involved with personal training, business/career development and corrective exercise. He is currently involved in personal trainer education as a tutor, assessor and course developer for Fitness Industry Education.