People considering obesity treatment may be further motivated to undergo surgery after learning that aspects of obesity are linked to osteoporosis.
Research conducted by scientists at Harvard Medical School in Boston revealed that excess visceral fat, which is located deep under the muscle tissue in the abdominal cavity, is linked to an increased bone marrow fat level and a decreased bone mineral density.
However, the report, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, found that there was no link between bone mineral density and subcutaneous fat.
Subcutaneous fat is that which lies just below the skin.
Dr Miriam Bredella, who worked on the research, commented: "Our results showed that having a lot of belly fat is more detrimental to bone health than having more superficial fat or fat around the hips.
"It is important for the public to be aware that excess belly fat is a risk factor for bone loss, as well as heart disease and diabetes."