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Heavy hips, thighs good for health

They can play havoc with your stress levels when you're trying to squeeze into skinny jeans. But big bottoms could be good for your health, according to British scientists. Here's why.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 14, 2010 16:16 IST

WellnessThey can play havoc with your stress levels when you're trying to squeeze into skinny jeans. But big bottoms could be good for your health, according to British scientists.

A team at Oxford University has claimed that carrying extra weight on your hips, bum and thighs is good for one's health, protecting against heart and metabolic problems, the BBC reported.

Hip fat mops up harmful fatty acids and contains an anti-inflammatory agent that stops arteries clogging; big bums are preferable to extra fat around the waistline, which gives no such protection, the scientists said.

According to them, having too little fat around the hips can lead to serious metabolic problems because there is evidence that fat around the thighs and backside is harder to shift than fat around the waist.

Although this may sound undesirable, it is actually beneficial because when fat is broken down quickly it releases a lot of cytokines - linked to heart disease, and diabetes - which trigger inflammation in the body, say the scientists.

Lead researcher Dr Konstantinos Manolopoulos said: "It is shape that matters and where the fat gathers. Fat around the hips and thighs is good for you but around the tummy is bad."