Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 11th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

07 April 2013

Fat Mapping

There are many misconceptions about fat. Professor Jimmy Bell explains here how his team makes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) fat maps to look at external and internal body fat. As a storage organ, fat influences hormonal and immune systems, appetite, bones and other organs. They found we can be thin on the outside, but fat on the inside (TOFI). Fat in and around our internal organs puts us at risk of diabetes and heart disease in later life. Popular measures like the body mass index (BMI) don’t take internal and external body fat into account. Different people (pictured) – all UK size 12 – have different patterns of fat distribution.

Written by Brona McVittie

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