We know that carrying around extra weight puts your heart health at risk. New research presented on Friday to the European Society for Cardiology shows that the location of your fat is just as important as the amount of it. Adults with normal body mass index (BMI) and extra belly fat (termed “central obesity”) had a 79 percent higher risk of major cardiovascular events, compared to people who were mildly overweight but with normal fat distribution. This includes heart attack, stroke and death. The study of nearly 1,700 citizens of Rochester, Minnesota, with 16 years of follow-up quantifies a risk that doctors already know about: There’s something about belly fat that makes it more dangerous than fat anywhere else. Individuals with more belly fat, even with normal or near-normal weight, have above average rates of heart disease and diabetes. They have earlier overall mortality. Small studies have shown that individuals with central obesity are more likely to have worse cholesterol values, higher markers of inflammation and even lower resting metabolic rate than those without it.