As the New Year rolls in and we ladies roll out that treadmill and dust off that diet book yet again, let us pause for a moment and reflect on a few choice pieces of information. Curvy isn’t just better for the heart, it’s better for the brain. Before you get too worked up about your weight, take a gander at your waist first.
A Study Has Been Done
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, Santa Barbara took a good look at 16,000 women and found the hourglass-figure correlated closely with intelligence. The results of cognitive tests showed women with a lower waist-to-hip ratio outgunning their thicker counterparts. The findings will be published this week in the journal, Evolution and Human Behavior.
A Calculated Effort
Coming up with your waist-to-hip ratio is done by dividing your waist size by your hip size (waist ÷ hip = ratio). The smaller the number, the better (less than 1.0 is good; .8 is ideal).
The Omega Woman
Believe it or not, fat is the answer to your weight question. The amount of omega-3 fatty acids in a woman's hips and thighs is a key indicator of her heart health. It’s also important for the health of her brain – and the brain of any child she may bear.
The curvier woman, recognizable by her pear (or hourglass) shape, has more reserves of omega-3. This not only nourishes her brain, this is crucial for fetal brain development in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Dr. Andrew Weil already knew omega-3 fatty acids were good for us, and suggests the healthiest sources are cold-water fish (such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, and bluefish) and plant foods (specifically flax seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and certain greens like purslane). The best source for this fatty acid, says Dr. Weil, is ground flax seed.
The Male of the Species
A man’s biological imperative (his other brain) prefers the more curvaceous contours. On some level he knows those curves of hers will tend to produce more intelligent children. So let them stare. Now we know they really do love us for our minds. Wink, wink.
No Curve, No Verve?
The findings help explain why Tyra Banks looks good no matter how much she weighs. It also explains why the study found that men preferred the “S” curve to the “T” square.
Women like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez, and Queen Latifah pack a healthier punch all the way around. Perhaps not so much with the leaner lasses, like Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, and Renée Zellweger.
Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall
Hopefully this research takes a load off (pardon the pun) the minds of those women who focus more on the scale than the mirror – the truer indicator. While fit is foremost, this study’s findings not only counter the beauty-but-no-brains myth, it also supports the findings of other studies that found curves are good for the cardiovascular in all of us.
Now we know — and science is right behind us (looking at our butts, no less) — thin isn’t really in; the stereotype of the dumb, beautiful woman is just dumb; and when Queen guitarist Brian May penned “Fat Bottomed Girls,” he was right: They really do make the rockin’ world go ‘round.