DALLAS, Texas -- Where excess body fat is located may determine the risk of type two diabetes among obese adults.
Researchers used MRI and x-ray imaging to assess if obese patients had more visceral belly fat, which surrounds internal organs, or fat stored just underneath the skin.
Seven years later, those who developed diabetes or pre-diabetes had higher amounts of visceral fat compared to those who stayed healthy.
Visceral fat was also linked to increased insulin resistance.
Experts say knowing the difference between these two types of fat could help doctors more effectively treat the current obesity epidemic in the United States.
The research was led by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and published in the 'Journal of the American Medical Association'.