November 8, 2013
Big Butts Linked To Good Health And Intelligence
I have recently taken an interest in the debate going on about whether the obesity ‘crisis’ is overblown, and whether what some consider to be rampant hysteria is unnecessary. I am going to write a blog about this soon, but in the meantime I thought I would share something I came across during the research, about large bottoms.
A study from the UK’s University of Oxford and Churchill Hospital found that pear-shaped people have health benefits, as well as intellectual benefits, over people whose weight is distributed differently.
In terms of the health benefits, it is the nature of weight distribution that is important here, so it doesn’t mean we should all deliberately try and pile on the pounds even if we are lucky enough that extra weight gravitates to our hips and bottom. But it does mean that a bigger lower body has some advantages, other than just looking hot to certain eyes.
Storing fat in the thighs is much better for the body than storing it around the tummy, because fat stored around the tummy tends to release fatty acids which float around the body and can be deposited in essential organs such as the liver, and in muscle. This can lead to dangerous conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
But thigh and lower body fat isn’t only less harmful than tummy fat, it may have positives of its own. According to Oxford researcher Dr. Konstantinos Manolopoulos, beneficial hormones such as leptin and adiponectin may be secreted in thigh fat, although he says this is currently uncertain. He is also not yet sure of how we can use this discovery to our advantage: “We don’t really know how the body decides where to store fat. At the moment we need to understand more about the mechanisms the body uses. Only then will we be able to take the next step and try to influence this.”
However, anti-diabetic drugs are already known to redistribute fat away from essential organs, so a similar process could be helpful.
The consensus is that being thin (healthily thin) is still better than being overweight, no matter how our fat is distributed. Beyond this, according to ABC News the idea that ‘lower fat is better fat’ is questionable itself. They quote Floyd Chilton, a professor of physiology and pharmacology from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as saying: “I think that the (Oxford) article makes a fairly compelling point that there are likely differences between these two fat stores. But I think it certainly falls short in making a convincing argument that one is protective and the other is the major source of the problem.”
The Oxford researchers admitted that the actual benefits of lower distributed fat were unclear, but the ABC source seems to be going further and questioning how dangerous tummy fat really is.
The ‘more intelligent’ aspect comes from the claim that Omega-3 is helpful for bigger butts, and is also well known to be extremely useful to the brain. I didn’t notice this mentioned on the Oxford site, only elsewhere, but it seems to be supported by all the sites on Google whose sole aim is to help you get a bigger butt and who all advised a lot of Omega-3. Finally, I can report that there are a lot more sites on Google about trying to get a bigger butt than I expected.
Image Credit: Thinkstock