Visceral Fat and Chronic Disease

There is clear and convincing evidence that the accumulation of visceral fat and ectopic fat is a major contributor to chronic disease.


Health and metabolic abnormalities associated with an excess of visceral adipose tissue


Insulin resistance


Impaired glucose tolerance


Type 2 diabetes 


Cardiovascular disease 

• Hypertension
• Heart failure
• Coronary heart disease, myocardial infarctions

• Valve diseases
• Arrhythmias


Respiratory diseases 

• Sleep apnoea

• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 

Brain health 

• Stroke, necrosis
• Reduced brain size
• Reduced grey matter
• Reduced cognitive function

• Dementia 




Reduced bone density
• Polycystic ovary syndrome

Increased waist circumference and higher levels of body fat are key indicators of visceral fat and thus of increased risk of chronic disease. BMI has limitations when identifying overweight and obese individuals with excess visceral adipose tissue.

BCT has been working with universities and hospitals in different countries to collect information on the body composition of thousands of individuals to better understand the relationships between visceral fat, body fat, waist circumference, gender, and ethnicity

Analysis of this data shows a clear relationship between higher Body Fat Percentage and increased Visceral Fat as shown below.

Picture 9.png
Picture 10.png

The data also shows a clear relationship between increased Waist circumference and increased Visceral Fat. These relationships are valid across gender and across ethnicities.

Picture 11.png
Picture 12.png

Experts believe that health messages should focus on visceral and ectopic fat in addition to excess bodyweight to combat the growing epidemic of obesity worldwide, but studies show that the assessment of fat distribution in clinical practice remains a challenge.

Importantly evidence from scientific research shows that visceral and ectopic fat can be reduced through exercise and dietary changes with a resulting reduction in chronic disease risk. Recent studies show that type 2 Diabetes can be put into remission.

BCT’s solution provides a smartphone application that gives a low cost, simple solution to measure and monitor waist circumference (WC) and body fat percentage (BF%) which are key indicators of central obesity and chronic disease risk. 


BCT’s measurement of waist is:

  • Consistent

  • Accurate > 97%

  • In line with the medical definition of waist

  • Non-invasive


BCT’s body fat measurement provides:

  • A direct assessment of obesity

  • Categorisation of individuals by risk category 

BCT’s measurements can be incorporated into health applications where users are informed of increased health risk

Picture 1.png
Picture 2.png
Picture 3.png
Picture 4.png

1. Visceral and ectopic fat, atherosclerosis, and cardiometabolic disease: a position statement

The International Atherosclerosis Society and the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk Working Group on Visceral Obesity - July 2019.