The perception of what constitutes the perfect female body varies around the world. In todays western culture a thin, super model figure has been promoted as the appealing female size. However most men feel just the opposite and consider women with proportionally smaller waist and larger hips as the preferred measure of beauty.
So ladies, the next time you wonder if your hips are too big for those jeans, or you don’t meet the media’s beauty standards, you can take comfort in a number of research studies that show women with larger hip size and a proportionally smaller waist are healthier with significantly fewer adverse health events.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Ronald Kahn, of Harvard University, the type of fat that collects around the hips is beneficial and may help to prevent type 2 diabetes. Fat that collects around the skin is known as subcutaneous fat, which is found to help improve sensitivity to insulin which regulates blood sugar levels. An ample bottom may also produce a particular type of hormone called Adipokines that can offset the negative affects of abdominal fat. There are essentially two different body types to describe a woman’s body. One body type is pear shaped and the other resembles an apple. Both shapes have certain health implications that can be beneficial or detrimental. Pear shaped women resemble the curvature of a pear with less weight at the top and waist and more weight in the hips and thighs where fat is stored. Apple shaped women typically store more fat in the upper torso with large breast, waist and stomach, coupled with a flatter bottom and thinner legs.
in a 24 year long study, Swedish scientist Dr. Lauren Lissner, studied 1400 women between the age of 38 to 60 years old to determine the incidence of myocardial infarction, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, gall bladder disease and related mortality rates in relationship to body type. Study results were adjusted for smoking, body mass index and waist circumference. The remaining variable was associated with larger hip size, which provided protection against related diseases and higher mortality rates. The study was the first to reveal decreased longevity in women with a high waist to hip ratio (WHR)
It was speculated that apple shaped women with a high WHR ratio had a consistently higher mortality rate due to the larger waist size which predisposes those women to a variety of heart related diseases, due to the excess fat (known as visceral fat) that grows around the vital organs in the belly. For some reason, excess fat around the stomach region makes a woman more resistant to the actions of insulin, which exposes an apple shaped woman to type 2 diabetes along with other metabolic disorders. Women with pear shaped physiques store more fat in the bottoms and are less likely to have fat circulating throughout their bodies. Pear shaped women are more likely to develop osteoporosis after menopause.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducts the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) among American adults and children. The study revealed that the female’s hips and thighs are relatively high in Omega 3 fatty acids necessary for brain development of children. The cognitive testing scores showed the lower the waist to hip ratio the higher the mental testing results. Conversely, the larger the waist sizes as compared to the hips the lower the cognitive testing scores. The University of Pittsburgh and California uses NHANES data to compare women’s waist to hip ratios with scores on cognitive testing. Researchers determined that the smaller the waist, the larger the hips, the higher the mental testing scores of both the women and their children. Babies of mothers who breastfeed can benefit both physically and intellectually from the higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids stored in the fat of the mothers hips and thighs. Omega 3’s are essential for the health, development and maintenance of the brain.
To determine if you are pear or apple shaped divide the size of your hips into your waist, if you are .08 or less then you are pear shaped. Above .08 means you apple shaped. If you are a man, then 1.0 or above means you are apple shaped. The waist measurement for apple shapes is 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men. A balanced diet and regular exercise is the best way to avoid excess weight and reduce fat. While apple shaped women are more subject to health complications, due to their upper middle fat distribution, they can generally lose weight faster than pear shaped women whose stored fat in hips and thighs makes it more difficult to lose weight.
According to Dr. Michele Olson, PhD, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, AL, “It’s been scientifically shown that fat in the central body area, the upper body, chest, thorax, and so on, is mobilized much more readlily than fat in the gluteal and femoral (hips and thighs) area.” Olson recommends that pear shaped women work to a total weight reduction program rather than focusing on losing weight in lower body.
Douglas Sewell is CEO of the Detroit-based Painexx Corp., makers of Ringmaster Rubbing Oil the world’s most powerful topical pain reliever. Find us at: www.ringmasternow.com