Central or abdominal obesity has been shown to be an important predictor for increased morbidity and mortality from diabetes and coronary heart disease (1-3). Abdominal obesity, defined as increased waist circumference is one of the components of the constellation of metabolic abnormalities collectively called as the metabolic syndrome (MS). The latest definition of MS by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has included abdominal obesity as one of the essential components4. However, it is still unclear whether the visceral (intra-abdominal) or the subcutaneous component of abdominal fat is more deleterious from the metabolic point of view. There are studies reporting that visceral fat is associated with diabetes and the metabolic syndrome (5,6) and others that subcutaneous fat is associated with insulin resistance (7,8). Asian Indians are a high risk ethnic group for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and coronary artery disease and have a unique phenotype called as the "Asian Indian phenotype" (9,10). This phenotype refers to the fact that despite relatively lower prevalence rates of generalized obesity, they tend to have a greater degree of central body obesity and increased body fat, particularly increased visceral fat, higher plasma insulin levels, insulin resistance and lower adiponectin levels (10-12).