Surprise: Everyone has some belly fat, even people who have flat abs.
That's normal. But too much belly fat can affect your health in a way that other fat doesn't.
It's that deeper fat -- called "visceral" fat -- that may be the bigger problem, even for thin people.
Deep Belly Fat
You need some visceral fat. It provides cushioning around your organs.
The fat doesn't just sit there. It's an active part of your body, making "lots of nasty substances," says Kristen Hairston, MD, assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
If you gain too much weight, your body starts to store your fat in unusual places.
With increasing obesity, you have people whose regular areas to store fat are so full that the fat is deposited into the organs and around the heart, says Carol Shively, PhD, professor of pathology-comparative medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
How Much Belly Fat Do You Have?