At last, here is something for women with bigger bottoms to smile about. Research shows they live longer.
A study has found that pear-shaped women, typified by the small waists and shapely bottom of the likes of Kate Winslet and Christina Hendricks, have a longer life expectancy than the apple shapes who store fat around their middle.
What is more, the figures are far from trivial. A 30-year-old woman who is a perfect pear is expected to live up to nine-and-a-half years longer than one whose waistline wobbles.
The projections for men are even more stark, with a 30-year-old with a huge beer belly forecast to die almost 17 years before a chap with a washboard stomach, the European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool heard.
Margaret Ashwell, who carried out the analysis, said the real killer is not just fat but the flab found around the middle.
Doctors generally use body mass index, or BMI, a mathematical formula based on a person’s weight and height, to work out whether they are in good shape.
Ashwell advocates looking at waist measurement in comparison to height. As a rule of thumb, she says, we should aim to keep our waist circumference measurement to under half that of our height – or have a waist to height ratio of 0.5 or less.