Women with big butts are healthier, according to an Oxford study. PHOTO: Rene Mensen, CC License
Science doesn’t lie: woman with big butts live healthier, longer lives according to an Oxford study of 16,000 women and their posteriors. It’s not so much the total amount of fat as the proportion of fat that ends up cushioning one’s butt that signals a healthier person. The authors of the big butt study laid it out in the journal Obesity:
"It is the protective role of lower body, that is [thigh and backside] fat, that is striking. The protective properties of the lower body fat depot have been confirmed in many studies conducted in subjects with a wide range of age, BMI and co-morbidities.”
All that’s to say, regardless of how old, how weighty (BMI stands for body-mass index, a common measure of weight taking height into account) or any other categories we can put you into: a high ratio of butt to body fat is a good sign for one’s health.
Fat stored in the stomach is more active and sends signals to various other parts of the body. This includes the release of insulin, which is implicated in diabetes (the disease most associated with obesity). Fat in the butt, however, is more stable.
The one piece of bad news here: there is no known way to direct fat to your butt.
“You can't direct or drive the fat in one part of your body versus another," says Robert Kushner, a professor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital specializing in obesity. "For the average person on the street, it's determined by genetics."
"If you're going to have fat, you're definitely better off if you've got some fat in the lower body," said Dr. Michael Jensen, director of endocrine research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "If you look at people who have primarily the pear shape, they're healthy in all the ways that this fat behaves. It's not just less heart attacks or less diabetes, it's all these ways we think about fat as an important organ for our health."