If you find yourself asking ‘does my bum look big in this’, it could be good for your health.
A study has found thin people may lower their risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes by carrying a few extra pounds on their hips and thighs.
One in five people of normal weight, who are ‘metabolically unhealthy’, can have an even higher risk than some fat people for the killer diseases.
But those who are pear-shaped tend to escape this group, as the bottom and thighs are safer places to store fat on the body.
A German study suggests the old warning ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ is almost true.
Fat might not spend a lifetime on the hips, but it is stored there for months, which is better than belly fat – released around two hours after a meal.
Some women, like Jennifer Lopez and America Ferrera, naturally carry more weight in their hips and thighs. The researchers said that is safer than other types of weight gain because the fat will be stored there for longer, rather than going straight to the heart.
It means the fat is not transported to the heart and liver, where it can lead to high blood pressure, high blood sugar and a greater risk of illness in later life.
The study’s lead author, Dr Norbert Stefan, from the University of Tübingen, said: ‘It is better for people of normal weight to be pear-shaped rather than apple-shaped, so that weight is carried on the bottom half of their body rather than around the middle.
‘The hips and thighs offer ‘safe storage’ for fat, stopping it from getting into the blood and reaching the organs.’
The study suggests that being pear-shaped is better for lean people, while in overweight people it does little to help. The fat levels in their internal organs may already be too high for this to offer extra protection.
It concludes: ‘Genetic analyses suggest that metabolic risk appears to be determined by different pathways in normal weight and obese subjects.’
Check photos of women who will outlive us all.