People that carry a lot of central fat—the visceral fat that gathers around your stomach and abdomen—which is also called abdominal obesity, have long been known to have a higher risk of health problems like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. This kind of fat has been shown to release toxins into the blood that goes straight to the liver, which then sends fatty acids to the organs, causing dysfunction.

A new study from Loughborough University in England analyzed data from 10 different years for more than 40,000 people who were involved in the annual health surveys for England and Scotland. Researchers divided up the subjects into those with normal weight; normal weight with abdominal obesity; overweight; overweight with abdominal obesity; obese; or obese with abdominal obesity based on BMI and their hip-to-waist ratio.

They found that those with with abdominal obesity, regardless of if they were normal weight or obese, were the only group that had a higher risk of early death from any cause. "It is yet further evidence that, even if you are within a 'healthy' BMI range but you carry weight around your stomach, your health is still at risk,” said study co-author Mark Hamer, Ph.D. “The message here is that if you do have central obesity, no matter what your BMI, you should take steps to reduce this fat."

If your belly fat is bulging over your belt a bit, why not take action now to whittle it away before it kills you early? We suggest trying this Men’s Fitness-approved HIIT workout or this killer fat-burning circuit that will lean you up in no time, we guarantee. Say goodbye to that beer belly, and hello to a long, healthy life.