Shakira said ‘hips don’t lie’ and it looks like she was bang on the money as people with big hips and thighs are likely to live longer, a new study has suggested.
According to researchers from the University of Toronto who recently conducted the study, an increase of 10cm in hip circumference is associated with a 10 percent lower risk of mortality. We knew that our big booty’s would be good for something.
More impressively, each 5cm increase in thigh circumference is linked with an 18 percent lower risk of death from all causes.
Author of the study, Tauseef Ahmad Khan, from the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, said: “People should be more concerned about their waist rather than focusing only on weight or BMI.
“Waist is a better indicator of belly fat and while one cannot target where one loses fat from, losing weight through diet and exercise will also reduce waist and therefore belly fat.”
So this doesn’t mean that eating to your heart’s desire and putting on lots of weight will mean you will give yourself a longer life-expectancy, let’s be honest.
But, if proportionately, you tend to hold fat in these areas, it’s been shown to be ‘inversely associated with all-cause mortality risk’
However, if you guzzle too much beer and have the dreaded ‘beer belly’, you might want to cut down a little as the study found that belly fat isn’t helping you.
According to the study, data taken from more than 2.5million people, showed that for every extra 4in (10cm) of waist – on average it gave people an 11 percent higher chance of dying early.
This is all down to where the fat is stored and the effect it has on that area of the body.
Dr Khan added: “Belly fat is the fat that is stored around the organs in the abdomen and its excess is linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Therefore, having more belly fat can increase the risk of dying from these diseases.”
Of course – it goes without saying that having a healthy amount of fat on your body will always be beneficial for your overall health.
The study added: “We found that the associations remained significant after body mass index was accounted for, which indicated that abdominal deposition of fat, independent of overall obesity, is associated with a higher risk.”
Waist circumference is widely accepted as a more accurate way than using body mass index (BMI) to test obesity. It increases the risk of illnesses including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.