We all know that carrying around too much fat is unhealthy. But did you know that thick thighs aren’t necessarily a bad thing? As a matter of fact a little extra fat on the thigh might be healthier for you. That’s according to recent research that found having more fat tissue in the legs makes people less likely to have high blood pressure.
“Although we know confidently that fat around your waist is detrimental to health, the same cannot be said for leg fat. If you have fat around your legs, it is more than likely not a bad thing and may even be protecting you from hypertension, according to our findings,” Aayush Visaria, principal investigator in the research, said in a press release. “If these results are confirmed by larger, more robust studies, and in studies using easily accessible measurement methods like thigh circumference, there is the potential to affect patient care.”
This sets leg fat apart from fat in other places on the human body.
To reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed data on 6,000 adults enrolled in a 2011-16 national health survey. They looked at participants’ legs’ fat-tissue percentages in relation to three blood-pressure types and found that those with higher percentages of leg fat were less likely to have all types of high blood pressure.
This finding held true even when researchers adjusted their data for age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, smoking, alcohol use, cholesterol levels, waist fat and risk for high blood pressure. That leg fat has health benefits adds to an ongoing conversation in the scientific community about the importance of fat’s location on the body, and understanding it in other terms beyond just quantity.
The findings are being presented at the American Heart Association‘s virtual meeting for hypertension research this week.
So before you get too mad at a little extra meat on the bone, be aware, thick thighs is healthier for your heart.