Abdominal obesity

Curr Opin Lipidol. 1998 Feb;9(1):35-40. doi: 10.1097/00041433-199802000-00008.


The application of magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography to obesity research has changed the focus from body mass and skinfold thickness to abdominal fat mass and visceral adiposity. Intra-abdominal fat constitutes less than 20% of total body fat but is a major determinant of fasting and postprandial lipid availability because of its physiological (lipolytic rate and insulin resistance) and anatomical (portal drainage) properties. High levels of serum free fatty acids, as a result of abdominal obesity, cause excessive tissue lipid accumulation and contribute to dyslipidaemia, beta cell dysfunction, and hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance. An individual's risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease relates closely to the inheritance of central obesity and susceptibility to tissue lipotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen*
  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Obesity / diagnostic imaging*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Radiography