She could stand to put on a few inches!
Finally, there’s good news for people on the “pleasingly plump” side of the population – well at least for those who are a bit “pear shaped.”
All my life I’ve bemoaned the size of my thighs. But new research has given me reason to appreciate the anomaly. According to a study published last week on the on-line
journal bmj.com, men and women with small thighs face a higher risk of heart disease and premature death.
After controlling for other risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol and overall body fat, the researchers found that having larger thighs was associated with less likelihood of succumbing to cardiovascular disease or death.
Does that mean the larger the thigh, the longer we live? Apparently not. The protective effect of bigger thighs only extended so far: thighs measuring more than about 24 inches around didn’t correlate with better health.
So get out the measuring tape and see if you have reason to celebrate – if so, go ahead and get out the cheesecake. Wouldn’t it be great if we could direct the fat to specific portions of the body – like ear lobes? Mine are painfully thin.
Researchers expressed regret that they hadn’t measured the fat-to-muscle makeup of participants’ thighs, as they surmise that having larger thighs by virtue of having more muscle mass may have made the difference between good health outcomes and bad. (More muscle mass is thought to combat insulin resistance, thus warding off type 2 diabetes and, by extension, heart disease.)
Because the thigh-size/health relationship was even stronger than the relationship between waist circumference and health, the study’s authors suggest that getting people to exercise their lower bodies and thus build more thigh muscle might make more health impact than getting them to shrink their middles.
Oh, there it is again – that snarky “exercise” word. Looks like there’s no way getting around it.