Too much of either type of fat on the body is not ideal, but studies have found that visceral fat is a much greater threat to general health than subcutaneous fat. Specifically, excess visceral fat contributes to problems such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
For example, some studies have shown that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines. These chemicals can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cause insulin resistance, a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, visceral white fat can be burned off with proper nutrition and exercise. Subcutaneous fat can be harder to shed, but in people with normal weight, it’s not as big of a health risk as visceral fat.
Abdominal fat and what to do about it (December 2006). Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it.htm
Nordqvist, Christina. What is Brown Fat? What is Brown Adipose Tissue? (January, 2012). Medical News Today. Retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240989.php
Columbia University Medical Center (2012, August 2). Turning white fat into energy-burning brown fat: Hope for new obesity and diabetes treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802122305.htm