Obesity is characterized by abnormal and excessive adipose tissue accumulated in the body. Compared with peripheral obesity (the accumulation of subcutaneous adipose tissue), abdominal obesity (the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue) is associated with increased risk of the metabolic syndrome, such as diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and dyslipidemia. Adipose tissue is a highly heterogeneous endocrine organ. Adipose tissue depots differ significantly in anatomy, cell biology, glucose and lipid metabolism as well as in endocrine regulation. Visceral adipose tissue has a stronger metabolic activity and secrets a larger amount of free fat acids, adipocytokines, hormones and inflammatory factors, which flux into the liver directly via the hepatic portal vein. These characteristics indicate that visceral adiposity may lead to the metabolic syndrome and thus visceral adipose tissue might be the clinical target for the prevention and treatment of obesity.