Bottom line; Bigger Bottoms Might be Healthy

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“Do these pants make my butt look big?” Some people will say no but it sure can make you healthier. A new study from Oxford University's Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism has concluded that big hips, thighs and a fleshy bottom help prevent heart disease and lengthen life.

The study showed that having a big rear end and thighs, rather than a pot belly, cuts levels of bad cholesterol and raises levels of the good cholesterol that protect against hardening of the arteries. It also cuts the risk of diabetes

"From a scientific point of view ... the ideal body shape is a flat tummy and very large thighs," said Prof. Konstantinos Manolopoulos, co-author of the study which appears in the International Journal of Obesity.
Scientists have previously warned of the dangers of accumulating fat around the tummy, which doctors say can be as important as obesity in affecting health but Manolopoulos, said “There is 'good' fat and 'bad' fat – just like there is good and bad cholesterol.”

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The report States that fat deposits around thighs and bottom tend to burn much slower and are much harder to shift, they can end up releasing many beneficial hormones which protect the arteries, in addition to helping control blood sugar levels. "It is shape that matters and where the fat gathers," says Dr. Konstantinos Manolopoulos, of Oxford University, the lead researcher "Fat around the hips and thighs is good for you but around the tummy is bad."

The team behind the review called for more research to test the effect of increasing the amount of the fat, called gluteofemoral fat, on health. The report stated that body fat distribution is a major determinant of metabolic health and gluteofemoral (fat) exerts specific functional properties that are associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile. The fat reduces the effect of harmful proteins, called cytokines, which can lead to inflammation and illness.

"The whole issue is very complex. We know that central adiposity [fat gain] is not good and that waist circumference is a predictor of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Vasudevan A. Raghavan, assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas. "We can hardly make the point that gluteofemoral fat is not without harm. At best, we know there's an association between gluteofemoral fat and overall favorable cardiovascular indices."

These findings are not suggesting people eat poorly and add weight to their lower body, the study merely suggests that certain fats may not be as harmful as once thought.

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