The riddle of why women are naturally fatter than men may have been deciphered.
Women need curvy thighs, hips and buttocks to make their babies intelligent, a study claims.
These ‘fat banks’ play a crucial role in fuelling the development of newborns’ brains via breastfeeding, say academics.
Professor Will Lassek, a public-health epidemiologist at Pittsburgh University, Pennsylvania, who led the research, said: ‘The fat in these areas is a depot for building a baby’s brain. You need lots of fat to make a nervous system, and the fats in these areas are also enriched in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is a particularly important component in the human brain. It looks as if women have evolved to accumulate these fats and hold on to them – until a baby arrives.’
It has until recently been a mystery why women have so much body fat (typically thirty per cent of their total weight).
Professor Lassek added: ‘This is similar to the levels seen in bears going into hibernation or whales living in cold Arctic seas. Women have traded muscle for fat, so they are about a third as strong.’
Men’s bodies are made up of just five to ten per cent body fat, and they have a much more ‘linear’ shape as a result.
Women’s extra fat is lost during breastfeeding, when it is required for their baby’s brain, according to Professor Lassek, who published his research in the book Why Women Need Fat. Mothers who breastfeed typically lose one pound of fat (half a kilo) a month, he said.
Over the past five million years, the average human brain has trebled in volume from 400ml to 1,200ml. It could follow that women have had to become ‘fatter’ to keep up with growing demands of babies’ brains.
David Bainbridge, a reproductive biologist at Cambridge University who has studied the female body shape, said the latest findings could explain why men find curvy women so attractive – because their children are likely to be cleverer.
‘The brain-building, breast-milk lipids (fats) are largely derived from the fat stored in a mother’s thighs and buttocks,’ he said. ‘Women with larger thighs have higher levels of these lipids. There is even evidence that they and their children are more intelligent as a result.’
The research follows a study published last June, which found that men who are ‘hungry’ prefer ‘curvier’ women. Lead author Dr Viren Swami of the University of Westminster said that the men’s survival instincts had kicked in.
‘If you are hungry you want resources and a partner who has resources. Someone who is heavier has access to food.’
In 2009, researchers at St Andrews University, Scotland concluded that men were more attracted to ‘curvier’ women because they deemed them ‘healthier’.
All this scientific mumbo-jumbo makes sense. The shapely Kim Kardashian, with her ever protruding rear, has not only found that it has catapulted her to fame – it now turns out to be a big bonus for her children.
In actual fact, the Almighty must have in his wisdom and ingenuity crafted fat women in the proper places so as to make their babies more intelligent and recompense their mothers for the weight they carry.
So fat ladies graced with hefty bottoms, take comfort – for the good Lord is definitely on your side.