Cheers for the curves!


At the end of puberty, women have more total body fat than 99,5% of men, and more fat in thighs/buttock (gluteofemoral fat) and less abdominal/visceral fat than 95,5% of men.

The waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a useful way to express the ratio of upper-body fat to lower-body fat. Women have a lower WHR than men. The fact that among men of different cultures a preference for low WHR seems widespread raises the question about its possible adaptive bases, but WHR is not a good predictor of fertility or survival during reproductive age. So, for what reason has it evolved as a criterion of male choice and why do females preferentially store fat in lower-body? Gluteofemoral fat is the main deposit of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, that is critical for fetal and infant brain development and a lower WHR is associated with higher DHA levels in the blood; furthermore, following the delivery of the baby, this hip fat is used for the energy needs of breastfeeding mothers. On the other hand, two studies that have explored the relationship between WHR and cognitive ability have shown that, in elder people, higher WHRs are associated with poorer cognitive performance and damaging changes in the brain.

These facts suggest that fat deposition patterns of reproductive-aged women may be the result of natural selection for the ability to support fetal and infant neurodevelopment. On the basis of data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (analyzing the body measurements and the scores in cognitive tests of 16,000 women and girls from 1988 to 1994), it can be concluded that women with lower WHRs (those with a greater difference between the waist and hips) and their children have significantly higher cognitive test scores.

Cheers for the curvy women!



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