The big-hipped and chunky-thighed live longer than the pot-bellied

Hip hip hooray!

People with chunky thighs or large hips are less likely to die early compared to those with bigger bellies, a new study suggests.

The study, published this week in the medical journal BMJ, says that central fatness or fat stored around the abdomen is associated with a higher risk of early death from any cause — regardless of overall body fat – while larger hips and thighs are associated with a lower risk.

The results suggest that measuring central fatness may be a more reliable indicator of risk of death from extra weight — and could be used in combination with body mass index “as a supplementary approach to determine the risk of premature death,” researchers said.

The study’s weighty conclusions are based on the results of 72 studies involving more than 2.5 million participants tracked between 3 and 24 years.

All of the studies reported risk estimates for at least three measures of central fatness, including waist circumference, hip circumference, thigh circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, waist-to-thigh ratio, and body adiposity index –a measure of body mass composed of fat tissue.

It was found that most measures of abdominal adiposity — including waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, waist-to-thigh ratio, and “A body shape index” — were significantly and positively associated with a higher mortality risk.

The analysis indicated that each 10 cm — or 3.94-inch — increment in waist circumference “was associated with an 11 percent higher risk of all cause mortality.”

Hip and thigh circumference was found to be associated “with a lower risk of all cause mortality,” the study says.

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