We evaluated two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods, spin echo and inversion recovery (IR), for quantification of intraabdominal fat in a subgroup of participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Both methods were used previously to quantify visceral fat, and the IR but not the spin echo method has been validated by comparison with computed tomography in human beings. In the present study, the reliability of both methods was excellent: reliability coefficients comparing two readers on the same scan were 0.9574 for IR (n = 158) and 0.9254 for spin echo (n = 47) when random effects models with log-transformed data were used. A comparison of visceral fat areas in 47 subjects with both IR and spin echo indicated that IR gave a slightly higher mean area than did spin echo: 134.9 compared with 129.8 cm2. However, a mixed-model analysis of variance (ANOVA) of the log-transformed data showed no statistical difference between either method or readers in the comparison of IR and spin echo. These data suggest that the IR and spin echo protocols evaluated in this communication are comparable with one another and reliable for estimation of intraabdominal fat.