New research from the University of Toronto has found that those with larger thighs and hips tend to live longer lives. The study, which looked into risk estimates for waist, hip, and thigh fat found that larger thigh and hip circumferences were “inversely associated with mortality risk.” I guess thick thighs really do save lives!
- The data is really fascinating. Researchers discovered that for each 10 cm of hip circumference there was a 10% decrease in all-cause mortality rates among participants. Meanwhile, a 5cm increase in thigh circumference saw an 18% decrease in all-cause mortality rates, according to the findings published in BMJ.
- This study pulled data from 72 different sources. It included data from studies involving 2.5 million people who were tracked between three and 24 years, providing a pretty wide scope of information. Researchers believed that using the “central fatness measure alongside body mass index (BMI) could help to determine the risk of premature death.”
- Unsurprisingly, abdominal fat is still pretty problematic. As study author Tauseef Ahmad Khan of the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto confirmed, belly fat still isn’t great for overall health. “Belly fat is stored around organs in the abdomen and its excess is linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Having more belly fat can increase the risk of dying from these diseases,” he explained. “Increased hip fat possibly shows evolutionary advantage as [it] is used as a fat store in late pregnancy and during breast-feeding.”
- The benefit of hip and thigh fat seemed more prominent in women. While there was a decreased mortality rate shown in men, the authors said it didn’t reach statistical significance. However, that could be down to a lack of data.
- At the end of the day, the BMI isn’t everything. Most medical professionals know that this is an outdated method of measuring health, but this study shows just how true that is. “People should be more concerned about their waist rather than focusing only on weight or BMI,” Dr. Khan said.