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Having a big bottom can cut diabetes risk

A generously proportioned derriere could be good for health, say scientists.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 03, 2009 17:15 IST

Here’s some good news for women who find it hard to squeeze into their skinny jeans, courtesy their big bottoms: a generously proportioned derriere could be good for health, say scientists.

Accord to research, the fat in buttocks and hips may protect against type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at Harvard Medical School in America reckon that the type of fat that accumulates around the hips and bottom may offer some protection against developing the condition.

Fat found commonly around the lower areas, known as subcutaneous fat, or fat that collects under the skin, helps to improve the sensitivity of the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar and therefore a big bottom might offer some protection against diabetes.

The boffins said that fat which collects around the stomach can raise a person’s risk of diabetes and heart disease. But, people with pear-shaped bodies, with fat deposits in the buttocks and hips, are less prone to these disorders.

Lead researcher Dr Ronald Kahn said that the research on mice had shown that not all fat was bad and could help to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

The team is trying to find the substances produced in subcutaneous fat that provide the benefit because they could lead to the development of drugs, reports the Daily Express.

The study is published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at health charity Diabetes UK, said: “It has long been known that the distribution of fat may be a determining factor in increasing risk to developing Type 2 diabetes. The paper describes the manipulation of fat cells in mice. Therefore it would be misleading, or even wrong, at this stage to link the results of this work to whether or not a person is at more or less risk of developing Type 2 diabetes because of the size of their buttocks.

“It would certainly take away from our key message based on hard scientific evidence rather than the extrapolation of preliminary findings from experiments in mice, that maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet low in fat, salt and sugar and with plenty of fruit and vegetables is by far the best way for most people in Britain to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”

First Published: Jan 03, 2009 17:14 IST