Got a big booty? Tremendous tush? Heavy-duty derriere? Whatever you want to call it, we have great news. According to a recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, having some extra fat down there could make you way healthier.
The latest research suggests that extra weight on a woman’s hips and thighs can block fat from reaching the internal organs, which protects the heart and lungs. As a result, big-bottomed women have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. Don’t miss even more health secrets your butt wants you to know.
Researchers monitored fat distribution through MRI scans and regular health check-ups. According to lead author Dr. Norbert Stefan, a diabetes specialist at the University of Tübingen in Germany, pear-shaped women with a normal weight were more likely to “‘offer safe storage’ for fat cells” when compared to their apple-shaped counterparts, the Independent reports. (This is the sneaky way your body shape could be sabotaging your health.)
Stefan’s team says that not all fat is created equal. (It’s just one of many myths about fat.) In fact, the extra bulk on our hips and thighs—also called subcutaneous fat—has a completely different purpose from the kind found in our abdomens, known as visceral fat. The latter releases harmful chemicals and fatty acids that can damage the cardiovascular system, leading to high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and diabetes down the road. Subcutaneous fat protects the heart, instead.
However, these results may not apply to women who are already overweight. The data suggests the fat levels in these women’s hearts and lungs were already too high for their hips and thighs to be an effective protectant. Translation: Maintaining a healthy weight is still key to living a longer, healthier life.
Regardless, you should love your butt—no matter its size! To show more bum appreciation, start with the best underwear for your butt shape.