It is not often that we hear that carry more than the average amount of fat can be good for you, but recent research by The Harvard Medical School has revealed that this is the case.
Body fat found under the skin, and particularly on your bum, may help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The fat found under the skin and on the bum is subcutaneous fat, and is different to the fat found around the internal organs, which is visceral fat.
Visceral fat (also known as belly fat) is the cause of ill health, whereas a fat bum may be the sign of good health. It is thought subcutaneous fat may produce hormones known as adipokines which boost the metabolism. This in turn burns more of the dangerous fatty tissue off, leaving lean muscle and good fatty tissue.
Dr David Haslam, of the National Obesity Forum, said the results of the research highlight the problems with using the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a way to assess whether somebody was unhealthily overweight, as it did not differentiate between different types of fat.
So it may be a case that of the many women that are classed as overweight by the BMI scale due to fatty deposits that have accumulated on their backside, many may actually be of a healthy weight.
Women Have More Subcutaneous Fat Than Men
Women have a tendency to lay down more subcutaneous fat, particularly on their legs and buttocks than men. So although toning bums, tums and thighs is often a key goal for many women trying to improve their fitness and physique, a bit of extra fat there may be helping to ward off diabetes in later life.
Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, said:
“If there is something about subcutaneous fat which is protective, and actually decreases insulin resistance, this could help open up a whole new debate on the precise role fat has on our metabolism.”
And once again, the work and research of Dr. Atkins comes to mind. Fat can be healthy, and a diet high in fat may actually help to control insulin, control weight and prevent heart disease and diabetes – the two main problems associated with the obesity epidemic.
Pear Shaped Women Are Healthy, Say Harvard Scientists
This may come as a surprise to most people, but women that have a curvier figure are not only natural but healthier than the super slim women that many people aspire to look like. The fat that is stored on the hips, thighs and butt helps to protect the body from developing clogged arteries. Well, actually the research said that pear shaped women are “at less risk“. There is quite a difference.
Women really should look to tone the muscles in the butt, hips and thighs, and lose enough weight to ensure that they are not holding visceral fat around the internal organs. Fat under the skin, which is the cause of larger butt, thighs and hips, is not a health risk and when toned makes you look curvier.
The health benefits of fat are so great that the International Journal of Obesity has suggested that future therapies to help reduce heart disease in women could involve promoting the accumulation of fatty tissue in these areas.
Also it is worth pointing out that it is easier for most women to shift weight from the stomach area than from the thighs. This is seen as a sign that it is there as a protective layer. Also, when fat is burned off it releases molecules called cytokines which can cause inflammation, which is another cause of heart disease.
This discovery, or strengthening or previous theories, puts more weight on the suggestion that rather than measure a persons body mass index alone to determine if they are overweight, we should measure their waist circumference. A big belly is unhealthy, so lose that belly fat! Although saying that, the final remarks are than a BMI of over 25 is overweight and poses greater risk of a variety of illnesses.
- Type of body fat ‘boosts health ~ BBC News, 7 May 2008
- Women’s Shapes Linked to Heart Disease, By William J. Cromie. Harvard.edu, 3 December, 1998