The location of excess body fat may determine a person’s risk of Type 2 diabetes among obese adults, according to a study from the UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Researchers used MRI and X-ray imaging to assess if obese patients had more visceral belly fat -- which surrounds internal organs -- or fat stored just underneath the skin.
Seven years later, those who developed diabetes or pre-diabetes had higher amounts of visceral fat compared to those who stayed healthy.
Visceral fat was also linked to increased insulin resistance.
Experts say knowing the difference between these two types of fat could help doctors more effectively treat the current obesity epidemic in the U.S.