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.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.