You might call it love handles, a spare tire, a potbelly, or even a beer gut. Doctors call it truncal obesity, abdominal obesity, central obesity, or visceral adiposity. Whatever the name, your protruding abdominal outline is caused by fat stored around your intestines and abdominal organs as well as right under your skin. Fat stored in this way is much more dangerous to your health than fat stored under the skin of your buttocks and thighs .Doctors use the waist-to-hip ratio ( WHR) or waist circumference to define the point at which your abdominal fat stores are posing a health risk. This is because excessive abdominal fat makes the circumference of your waist bigger than that of your hips. To find your WHR, measure your waist at the navel and measure your hips, then divide the waist number by the hip number. For example, if your waist is 36 inches and your hips are 40 inches, your WHR is 0.9. The higher your WHR, the more  “apple-shaped” you are. A less scientific way to evaluate yourself  is to look at your body profile in the mirror. If your silhouette is bigger around the middle than around the hips, you have an “apple” shape. If your silhouette is larger at the hips, you have a “pear” shape .If you ‘re apple-shaped, you have greater risk of health problems related to blood sugar than someone who’s pear-shaped, even if you’re both the same height and weight. Now, all you pear-shape folks, don’t think you’re off the hook. Even if your weight settles below the belt, you still have a greater risk of health problems than those who are normal weight, especially if your body mass index is above 30. No matter where it is on your body, the more fat you have, the more likely you are to develop the metabolic syndrome. The powerful effect of abdominal fat can lead to a paradoxical condition: You could be of normal weight for your height and build, or just slightly heavier than ideal, but none the less be what’s called metabolically obese.