It's well known that abdominal fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many other conditions, especially if it's deep fat that surrounds organs (called visceral fat). Now there's evidence that such fat may also weaken bones and muscles.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Michigan examined CT scans of the torsos of 8,800 people ages 18 to 65. They found that greater visceral fat deposits were associated with worse bone density and poorer-quality muscle, regardless of age, sex, and body mass index.
Visceral fat may infiltrate muscles and bones and thus weaken them, the researchers suggested. The findings are especially interesting because most studies have linked obesity to better musculoskeletal health because of the greater mechanical demands put on bones and muscle simply from having to maneuver a larger body.