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HHS HealthBeat (October 9, 2012)

Which fat

A man measures his rather large belly
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

It may not be just fat that raises the risk of diabetes; it may be which fat. At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, researchers looked at about seven years of data on 732 obese people. The researchers compared visceral fat – the kind around organs – with other fat that creates, for instance, potbellies.

Researcher Ian Neeland found no additional risk with other fat. But he says:

“People in the highest third of visceral fat had over three times greater likelihood of getting diabetes than people in the bottom third.”

You can’t see visceral fat levels without expensive imaging, so Neeland advises controlling fat all over.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: October 9, 2012