[via the Chicago Sun-Times]

So you’re thin, feel healthy, try to eat well, and the thought of exercising at least crosses your mind from time to time. Now according to imaging research at the Imperial College in London by Dr. Jimmy Bell, you’re most likely FAT on the inside.

“Some doctors now think that the internal fat surrounding vital organs such as the heart, liver or pancreas – invisible to the naked eye – could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin.”

Dr. Bell aims to create “fat maps” to show where people store internal fat. Those of us who are thin but don’t exercise frequently are at the highest risk of having this dangerous internal fat which is linked to high cholesterol, high insulin, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and other problems.

Thin fat MRI yellow is fat

This body map shows skin in green, muscle in red, and yellow as internal fat.

“Without a clear warning signal, such as a rounder middle, doctors worry that thin people may be lulled into falsely assuming that because they’re not overweight, they’re healthy.”

So isn’t it bad enough that we have to worry about our external fat without having to worry about how much fat is cushioning our organs? What’s most troubling about this is that most people don’t know and will probably never know how much hidden fat they have because the only accurate way to determine it is with an MRI scan. But it is not feasible nor safe to give all of those people MRI scans.

So what can we do to burn off the internal fat? Exercise and improve your diet. But you don’t need an MRI to tell you that.

Read one of the many news articles on this topic via MSNBC