By now I'd hope you know that the evidence points to excess visceral fat being very bad for you over the long term. Is it the visceral fat or something else correlated with visceral fat, however? "New findings [suggest] that it's not whether body fat is stored in the belly that affects metabolic risk factors for diabetes, high blood triglycerides and cardiovascular disease, but whether it collects in the liver. ... For years, scientists have noted that where individuals carried body fat influences their metabolic and cardiovascular risk. Increased fat inside the belly, known as visceral fat, is associated with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. ... Data from a large number of studies shows that visceral fat is associated with metabolic risk, which has led to the belief that visceral fat might even cause metabolic dysfunction. However, visceral fat tracks closely with liver fat. We have found that excess fat in the liver, not visceral fat, is a key marker of metabolic dysfunction. Visceral fat might simply be an innocent bystander that is associated with liver fat." On the other hand, mouse studies show that surgically removing visceral fat extends life.