Having a well curved behind, big hips and solid thighs is good to look at and apparently, it gets better. It is also good for you, experts concluded from a new finding recently.
Researchers at Oxford University in the UK said carrying fat on the hips, thighs and bum, rather than around the waist, has a range of health benefits and actively protects against diabetes and heart disease.
â€œFat around the hips and thighs is good for you but around the tummy is bad,â€ said Dr Konstantinos Manolopoulos, one of the three scientists behind the research, which has been published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Fat carried on the thighs traps harmful fatty acids and stops them from latching on to the liver and muscles to cause a range of health problems, including insulin resistance.
Although fat around the thighs and backside tends to burn slower, it can release beneficial hormones which protect the arteries and help blood sugar control, the research showed.
That is much better than carrying fat around the waist, which tends to release more harmful fatty acids into the body, the research shows.
Belly fat also releases molecules called cytokines which trigger inflammation â€” raising the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
â€œThe idea that body fat distribution is important to health has been known for some time,â€ said Manolopoulos, who is a researcher at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. â€œHowever it is only very recently that thigh fat and larger hip circumference have been shown to promote health, that lower body fat is protective by itself.â€
Up till now, big hips and fat bums have been considered a sign of fertility among Africans, and praised as beauty. Now science has it; shape matters. And as far as health is concerned, being â€˜pear-shapedâ€™ is much preferable to being â€˜apple-shapedâ€™.
In an ideal world, the more fat around the thighs the better - as long as the tummy stays slim, Manolopoulos said.
Big hips good for health