Table 2.

Characteristics of subcutaneous and visceral fat

VARIABLESCHARACTERISTICS
SUBCUTANEOUS FATVISCERAL FAT
Clinical measurementBody mass indexWaist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, waist-to-hip ratio
Association with cardiometabolic disease16Association with mortality is inconsistentDirect linear association with mortality
Function15,18Metabolic sink and longer-term energy storageShort-term energy source
Cardiac risk23ModerateHigh
Metabolic risk24ModerateHigh
Inflammation22ModerateHigh
Catecholamine response22ModerateRapid
Insulin sensitivity17ModerateLow
Metabolic flux18LowHigh
Trend with age25Increased to age 65 y, then reducedGradual increase
Storage duration26LongShort
Effect of exercise27High levels needed for weight changeLow levels effective for cardiometabolic benefit
Adverse effects of refined carbohydrate28ModerateHigh