wjxt logo

The skinny on belly fat

We all know that gaining weight can be hard on our health. But there are different types of fat that accumulate around our waistline and one can cause more damage than the other.

Dr. Bartolome Burguera treats obesity at Cleveland Clinic. He said visceral fat is the fat that causes a lot of health problems.

"The visceral fat is the one that is attached to your internal abdominal organs. That fat is really the one that is causing you or increasing your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes," he explained.

Burguera said visceral fat is also known as abdominal fat. It's the fat that causes a "beer gut" or a "pot belly." It sticks to abdominal organs and increases our risk for developing high cholesterol, diabetes and heart attack.

He said subcutaneous fat is the fatty tissue that lies just below the skin. You can grasp it with your hand and is the less-dangerous of the two. But Burguera said that doesn't mean you should ignore it.

"This idea that every year you're gaining a few pounds and this is normal -- it is not normal. It is not normal. You really need to work on your weight and try to keep your weight stable over your adult years, because if not you're really going to get into trouble with your heart, diabetes, your general health," he said.

Burguera said eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly are two critical factors when it comes to controlling your weight.