A recent study published by the University of Toronto shows that women who have bigger hips and thighs are more likely to live longer. According to the researchers, an increase of 10cm in hip and thigh circumference can be associated with a 10% lower mortality risk.
Even more impressively, women with an extra 5cm of thigh circumference show an 18% lower risk of dying from all causes. Tauseef Ahmad Khan, from the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto and was also the author of the study, stated:
People should be more concerned about their waist rather than focusing only on weight or BMI. Waist is a better indicator of belly fat and while one cannot target where one loses fat from, losing weight through diet and exercise will also reduce waist and therefore belly fat.
So, realistically, gaining weight isn't necessarily going to win you any extra years but if you just so happened to be blessed with wider hips then you may be more eligible to celebrate as its 'inversely associated with all-cause mortality risk'. This is thought to be because wide hips and thighs acquired from a healthy lifestyle indicate muscle mass in those areas.
However, if your thick thighs are accompanied by an unhealthy lifestyle then you may want to think about changing some things up.
According to the study which consisted of more than 2.5 million people, every extra 10cm of waist was correlated with an 11% higher chance of dying early. Dr Khan added:
Belly fat is the fat that is stored around the organs in the abdomen and its excess is linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Therefore, having more belly fat can increase the risk of dying from these diseases.
And, it goes without saying that having a healthy amount of body fat can only be beneficial for your overall wellbeing. The study added:
We found that the associations remained significant after body mass index was accounted for, which indicated that abdominal deposition of fat, independent of overall obesity, is associated with a higher risk.
Waist circumference, as opposed to BMI, is actually a widely accepted and reliable indication of obesity which increases the risks of illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.