Bloomington / Normal, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Visceral Fat—What You Need To Know


By Melissa Larson, Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women

Here we are again, the start of another new year. Thousands of Americans set resolutions at the start of each new year, with at least 20 percent completely losing sight of that goal within 6 weeks. This year, why not forget the yo-yo diet cycle and simply focus on the big picture—fat.

Now, don’t get us wrong, there’s no name calling going on here. Fat in our bodies does matter, perhaps more than we have even realized.

The two main categories of fat in the human body are visceral and subcutaneous. While both types are fat, they differ on a cellular level. Subcutaneous fat is easy to spot with the naked eye, located directly underneath your skin. Subcutaneous fat can be pinched.

Visceral fat, on the other hand, is not visible from the outside of your body but instead resides deep inside you. It is the fat surrounding your internal organs. A belly can be an indicator of unhealthy levels of visceral fat but even those individuals who appear healthy on the outside can have unhealthy levels of visceral fat.

We all have some measure of both subcutaneous and visceral fat. Emerging data suggest, however, that visceral fat—the non-visible stuff—is of particular concern when outside of normal ranges. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbance, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, among many other health concerns.

Even though it’s not easily seen, visceral fat CAN be measured and better understood in our bodies. Methods of measurement include waist-to-hip measurement, bioelectrical impedance, and dual-energy absorptiometry (DEXA), along with some other imaging modalities.

Body Composition analysis is offered as part of our DEXA service here at Fort Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women. Body Composition analysis provides precise data on total body fat percentage and fat mass. Your Body Composition Analysis at Fort Jesse Imaging will provide detailed information specific to your body. We always encourage our Body Comp patients to take this information to your next visit with your health care provider.

Once you better understand your body, you can work with your doctor and others to make changes that will have long term effects—and get off the diet rollercoaster of the new year, for good!

Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for women, located at 2200 Ft Jesse Rd. in Normal, is proud to offer the best rates for all of Bloomington/Normal’s diagnostic imaging needs. They offer PET/CT, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, X-ray, Mammography, Bone Density, and ABUS. With cutting edge technology, specialty trained radiologists, and convenient appointment scheduling, they strive to offer physicians and patients a superior experience. You may call them at 309-454-5552, visit them on Facebook at or online at