High quantities of visceral fat have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Despite these risks, around 88 per cent of Europeans are unaware of what visceral fat is, according to a report commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
GSK also found that after finding out about visceral fat and the associated dangers, 64 per cent of people were more inclined to lose weight.
The report comes as many people are resolving to lose weight in the New Year.
Community Pharmacist Dr Terry Maguire said: “Most overweight people still see themselves as having a body image issue not a health problem and they need to understand the health benefits of weight loss as well as the cosmetic results.”
Professor David Haslam, Chair of the UK’s National Obesity Forum, also commented: “Fad diets, which usually promise quick fix weight loss, are unsustainable. They can actually do more harm than good. Invariably weight is put back on, with some of the weight regained accumulating as visceral fat.”
Independent advice on private healthcare