Aim: This study aimed to test the association of individual adipose depots on cardiometabolic outcomes, whether the association varied by depot and if the associations differed by race/ethnicity or gender in early pubertal children. Methods: Three hundred and twenty children (53% male) aged 7-12 years self-identified as African American (AA; n = 114), European American (EA; n = 120) or Hispanic American (HA; n = 86) participated. Insulin dynamics were assessed by intravenous glucose tolerance test; body composition with DXA; fat distribution with CT. Results: AA had the least fat in each depot and HA had the most. Fat accumulation negatively impacted cardiometabolic outcomes independent of race/ethnicity or gender. AA and females were reproductively more mature. In AA and HA, each measure of adiposity influenced the insulin sensitivity index (SI), whereas intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) did not contribute to SI in EA. IAAT was positively associated with blood pressure in AA only. In females, adiposity adversely influenced cardiometabolic outcomes such that total fat mass, IAAT and/or SAAT was inversely associated with SI, and positively associated with blood pressure and fasting insulin. Conclusion: IAAT is uniquely related to metabolic risk factors in Hispanic Americans, African Americans and girls, suggesting that either the threshold for adverse effects of IAAT is lower, or the IAAT metabolism differs in these groups. © 2009 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica.