More precisely, people with thighs more than 60 cm (23.6 inches) in circumference have a lower death and cardiovascular disease risk than those with skinnier legs. This result held true even after scientists controlled for total body fat, smoking, and blood pressure. The study authors say people with small thighs may have low muscle mass, which can contribute to insulin resistance and thus to heart disease.
Somewhat confusingly, one write-up of the study says researchers measured "fat-free thigh circumference," and it's unclear if cellulite counts toward the magic 60 cm total. And while a nurse at the British Heart Foundation says, "There is insufficient evidence to confirm that a low thigh circumference affects a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease," the BBC goes ahead and offers some quick tips to "increase your thighs." It would be nice if this finding reduced pressure on women to be tiny and to work out without being "too muscular," but the accompanying picture of a lady in underwear (without big thighs) isn't exactly hopeful.
A similarly mixed blessing is a survey (by research giants Date.com, Matchmaker.com and Amor.com), in which 85% of men agreed that, "A couple of extra pounds are fine by me." We're not sure if "a couple of extra pounds" means "as long as you're not fat or anything," but it's nice to be reminded that most men don't expect women to look like the cover of Self magazine.
Not so nice: the fact that 80% of men supposedly think overweight women are "less bitchy" than thin ones. First of all, this means the survey asked them this question, which is gross. Second, way to enforce the notion that men should date fat girls because they're so nice, and have "good personalities" — you know, because they were forced by their physical hideousness to develop other qualities. This is related to the idea that guys should seek out girls who were "ugly in high school," because they won't be full of themselves. Basically, the stereotype of the "nice" fat/ugly/ex-ugly chick implies that women who have or had low self-esteem make better partners because they're willing to take more shit and less likely to dish it out. Oh, and the survey question implicitly disses "skinny bitches" too. Thanks dating-ologists!
The survey also found that 90% of women think "men find extra weight unattractive." Says Shira Zwebner, "relationship adviser" for Date.com, Matchmaker.com and Amor.com, "Unfortunately, these types of misconceptions between the sexes are extremely common, and result in a lot of missed dating and relationship opportunities." So don't miss an opportunity! Join our dating sites today! Or, you know, love your body, and don't try to make it smaller based on what you think men want — or bigger based on science that has yet to be confirmed.
Large Thighs 'May Protect Heart' [BBC]
Large Thighs Protect Against Heart Disease And Early Death [EurekAlert]
Men: Heavier Women Better In Bed [UPI.com]