Slimming the thighs — as well as the belly — is good for the heart

Research we're watching

Whether you carry extra fat in your belly (an apple shape) or your thighs (a pear shape), slimming down can help your heart, according to a new study.

Previous research found that while belly fat was clearly linked to a higher risk of heart problems, in comparison, fat in the thighs and backside seemed to be associated with less heart disease risk. But an analysis of seven weight-loss studies including a total of 399 people (mostly women) challenges that latter claim.

Losing inches in the thighs, hips, and buttocks tended to lower other risk factors for heart disease, according to the findings, which were published in the April 4 Journal of the American Heart Association. For lowering cholesterol, losing leg fat was just as important as losing abdominal fat. The bottom line: Losing excess weight — whether from your belly or your buttocks — will benefit your heart.

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