Coronary heart disease (CHD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus represent two highly prevalent conditions in affluent societies. Although a dyslipidemic state is frequently found in type 2 patients with obesity, studies have shown that the high triglyceride, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol dyslipidemia is also found in nondiabetic patients with insulin resistance. Studies that have used imaging techniques to assess the regional distribution of body fat have shown that an excess of visceral adipose tissue, that is, a high accumulation of fat in the abdominal cavity, was associated with a cluster of metabolic disturbances such as insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, hypertriglyceridemia, elevated apolipoprotein B (apoB) concentrations, small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, as well as low HDL cholesterol levels. Prospective studies such as the Québec Cardiovascular Study have shown that this cluster of metabolic abnormalities commonly found in patients with excess visceral adipose tissue substantially increases the risk of CHD. The high prevalence of visceral obesity in sedentary adult men and postmenopausal women is such that it may represent the most prevalent cause of atherogenic dyslipidemic states associated with CHD in our population.