A video by the Portuguese Cardiology Foundation graphically conveys the danger of intrabadominal fat for "big belly people."
According to Harvard Medical School, "it’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease."
Calling patients (or anybody) fat or "big belly" is not advisable though. A New Hampshire doctor was recently reprimanded by the state medical board because he “told a fat woman she was obese.” Dr. Bennett says, “I tried to get her attention. I told her, 'You need to get on a program, join a group of like-minded people and peel off the weight that is going to kill you.'"
Abdominal fat and what to do about it. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide.
Doctor in trouble for calling patient obese. MSNBC.
Boomeritis, Man Flu & Salad Dodging Down Under. WSJ Health Blog, 01, 2008.
Link via Dr. Wes.
Belly Fat, Also Called Visceral Fat, Boosts Inflammation and Atherosclerosis, Say Scientists Studying Mice. WebMD, 01/2008.