Curvy girls live longer than slim ones and laughter is still the best medicine

Published on June 5, 2005 at 6:03 PM · No Comments

Researchers at the Institute of Preventative Medicine in Copenhagen have news that girls will love to hear - that curvaceous women are more likely to live longer than their slimmer counterparts.

The Danish researchers found that women with wider hips also appeared to be protected against heart conditions, while women with a hip measurement smaller than 40 inches, or a size 14 would not apparently have this protection.

Hip fat appears to contain a beneficial natural anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory, called adiponectin, they say, prevents arteries swelling up and becoming blocked.

In their study the Danish researchers examined almost 3,000 men and women aged between 35 and 65 from 1987 to 1988 and measured height, weight and body mass index.

They next looked at Danish health registers up until the end of 1998 to ascertain how many of the men and women had cardiovascular problems, and then up to 2001 to see how many had died.

They found that when they compared the group of women with the smallest hip circumferences, with the women with the biggest, the group with the biggest hips were found to have an 87' reduction in deaths.

Other studies have also found that both men and women with small hips are at an increased risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and gall bladder disease.

The study did not however find that a wider hip circumference was linked with better heart health in men.

In a separate study Dr Maciej Buchowski, of Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, has found that when it comes to burning off a few extra calories, though no match for running, cycling or pumping iron, laughing out loud for 10-15 minutes a day burns 10-40 calories, the equivalent to a small piece of chocolate, depending on a person's body weight, which would equate to 2kg a year if you laughed every day.

Laughing makes people feel good and has been described as the best medicine, and Buchowski believes he and his colleagues are the first to measure how much energy it takes to laugh. They discovered that laughter produces energy, and when people were laughing the increase was about 20 per cent above the basic metabolism rate.

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