Women's health * Healthy living * Weight loss

Big bottoms good for health!

Zone default image Beyonce, J-Lo shape healthiest

Good news for those who are shapely rather than skinny. Scientists have found that people who carry fat around their bottoms are less likely to develop heart disease and diabetes.

This is because hip fat reduces the effect of compounds which help lead to clogging of the arteries, whereas fat carried around the stomach has no effect.

Celebrities such as Beyonce and J-Lo are therefore in much healthier shape than the super skinny models we see on the catwalk.

As many women know, hip fat is difficult to shift. But from a health perspective, this is actually a good thing.

When fat breaks down cytokines are released - important molecules involved in inflammation. But they have also been linked to heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes.

Fast burning stomach fat releases cytokines faster compared with the slow burning hip fat. In addition, hip fat cells also produce a hormone which protects the arteries and promotes better blood sugar control and fat burning.

Commenting on the research, published online in the International Journal of Obesity, Dr Konstantinos Manolopoulos from Oxford University said: "The fat around our thighs and hips is different to the fat around tummies.

"The cells in lower body fat work differently from the cells in upper body fat, so celebrities like J-Lo can be said to be better role models for women's health than supermodels with much less body fat."

This article was published on Tue 12 January 2010

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