OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that visceral adiposity, compared with general adiposity, would explain more of the variance in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. RESEARCH METHOD AND PROCEDURES: Subjects were 464 adolescents (238 black and 205 girls). Adiposity measures included visceral adipose tissue (VAT; magnetic resonance imaging), percent body fat (%BF; DXA), BMI, and waist girth (anthropometry). CVD risk factors were fasting insulin, fibrinogen, total to high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol ratio, triglycerides (TGs), systolic blood pressure, and left ventricular mass indexed to height2.7. RESULTS: After adjustment for age, race, and sex, all adiposity indices explained significant proportions of the variance in all of the CVD risk factors; %BF tended to explain more variance than VAT. Regression models that included both %BF and VAT found that both indices explained independent proportions of the variance only for total to high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol ratio. For TGs, the model that included both %BF and VAT found that only VAT was significant. For systolic blood pressure and left ventricular mass indexed to height2.7, anthropometric measures explained more of the variance than VAT and %BF. DISCUSSION: The hypothesis that visceral adiposity would explain more variance in CVD risk than general adiposity was not supported in this relatively large sample of black and white adolescents. Only for TGs did it seem that VAT was more influential than %BF. Perhaps the deleterious effect of visceral adiposity becomes greater later in life as it increases in proportion to general adiposity.