How to be a smart-ass

Published: January 22, 2015


You may hate your curves and having more fat in your lower body but if you have a body like Kim Kardashian or JLo we have good news for you.

Women with sizeable fat in their thighs and buttocks give birth to smarter babies as compared to flat-bottomed women, a new study suggested.

Professors William Lassek and Steven Gaulin from the University of Pittsburgh believe the development of a baby’s brain relies on the supplies of fat held in its mother’s thighs and buttocks.

Lassek during an interview with the Sunday Times explained having extra fat in the lower part of the body allows a woman to store additional nutrients that can be passed to the baby through breastfeeding.

The findings are published in Lassek’s recent book Why Women Need Fat.

“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,” the professor added.

Such fat is the hardest of all to shift by dieting. But Lassek said that the ability of women to retain large fat reserves on legs and buttocks was a vital element in the evolution of intelligence.

“The fat in these areas is a depot for building a baby’s brain,” the professor added.

Lassek pointed out that in most mammals, levels of fat in the body are around 5- to10 per cent, but in women this number rises to 30 per cent.

David Bainbridge, a professor at Cambridge University, has backed up these findings in his new book Curvology: The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape.

“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,” Bainbridge said.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Imran Ahmed
    Jan 22, 2015 - 6:54PM

    Informative and educational. Also a defense to social pressure against “fatness”.Recommend

  • Jan 22, 2015 - 9:16PM

    Informative and same observation that I’ve studied few months ago.


  • John B
    Jan 22, 2015 - 9:37PM

    While fat during pregnancy results in healthy baby, and is needed for brain development and evolutionary pressure imposed the physiological fat accumulation in women is a good scientific reasoning supported by years of evidences, I do not subscribe to “the intelligent baby outcome” as the result of fat.

    Development of Brian and intelligence are not physiologically linked.


  • Adeeqa Lalwani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 12:46PM

    I just don’t know what’s gone wrong with Tribune’s content and what are the people at Web Desk smoking these days, ’cause I’d like some of that!


  • Feb 7, 2015 - 3:30PM

    Yeah I also observed that. Really helpful article.

    Thanks Tribune!


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