A new study suggests that people of a healthy weight but with more fat in their hips, thighs, and legs could be at a lower risk of strokes, diabetes and heart attacks.
Findings published in the journal Cell Research show that a lack of fat in the lower half of the body corresponds with an increased risk of mortality and/or cardiovascular disease.
But the findings do not apply to those who are overweight. The reason being that fat levels around the lungs and hearts of overweight people might already be too high.
Commenting on the findings, Dr. Norbert Stefan, a diabetes specialist and lead author of the study, said that it’s better for people to be pear-shaped than apple-shaped if they are a healthy weight, as the hips and thighs provide “safe storage” for fat.
This is because the extra weight in thighs and hips is different from the fat stored deeper in the abdomen. Abdominal fat is more likely to release fatty acids into the blood, which can lead to diabetes, insulin resistance and high cholesterol.