We’ve long been told how bad it is to have fatter legs. And of course, it is not the best shape for many. However, the best shape does not necessarily equal the healthiest. According to new research presented on Sept. 10-13, 2020, having more fat around your thighs could be a good thing for you.
What did the research reveal?
Researchers at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey, analyzed 6,000 adults with an average age of 37 and examined the relationship between the rate of high blood pressure and the percentage of fat tissue in the legs. The analysis found that people who had higher percentages of leg fat were 61 percent less likely to have high blood pressure.
The lead investigator Aayush Visaria says, "Although we know confidently that fat around your waist is detrimental to health, the same cannot be said for leg fat. If you have fat around your legs, it is more than likely not a bad thing and may even be protecting you from hypertension, according to our findings."
That said, since all participants were under the age of 60, the results may not apply to older people who are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Still, it shed light on millions of people feeling insecure or unconfident about their not-so-perfect shape of legs.
Lipedema or just fat legs?
Don’t celebrate too early if you have fatter legs, however. While fatter legs may be linked to some health benefits such as reduced risk of high blood pressure, lipedema – a medical disorder that causes fat legs – is a different case.
Both overweight and lipedema could cause excess fat in the legs. But lipedema is a much worse case. While fat legs due to overweight can be managed with regular exercise and a healthy diet, those due to lipedema may require invasive therapies.
Lipedema occurs almost exclusively in females with an estimated incidence of 1 in 9 adult women. Thus, ladies, if you suspect that you may have abnormal fat around your legs, see your doctor and have a check. If you happen to have normal weight and legs that seem fatter, stop worrying about it.