Men's Health

This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Not All Belly Fat Is Bad for the Heart

Man with large belly letting out belt

July 21, 2011 -- A new study shows that where a person stores body fat may be more important for heart disease risk than how big they are.

Doctors have long wondered why some obese people appear reasonably healthy, while others seem to be on a path toward heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Fat that’s stored around the internal organs, which is called visceral fat,  has been thought to play a role in that difference. 

Waist size is a rough measure for the amount of visceral fat a person has.

But newer studies have suggested that visceral fat may not deserve the blame.

Newer imaging techniques have shown that fat that's stored in muscle and organs like the liver may contribute to unhealthy levels of blood fats, says Faidon Magkos, PhD, a research assistant professor of medicine in the department of nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.


Fat Storage in the Liver and High Triglycerides

The study looked at two groups of 14 obese men with waist sizes over 37 inches.