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New research suggests that women with an hourglass figure may on average be brighter and have more clever children.
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A study found that women with large hips and small waists tend to be more intelligent than those with either apple-shaped or linear bodies. Such women may also tend to give birth to more intelligent children. One possible reason is the greater percentage of omega 3 fats found on the hips.
The study examined 16,000 women and girls, and found that women with a greater difference between the waist and hips scored significantly higher on cognitive tests, as did their children. Those with a waist-to-hip ratio between 0.6 and 0.7 achieved the highest scores.
Fat around hips and thighs holds higher levels of omega 3 fats, which are essential for the growth of the brain during pregnancy. Fat around the waist may have higher levels of omega 6 fats acids, which are less well suited to brain growth. Waist fat is also more likely to be a contributory factor in diabetes and heart disease.
Times Online November 11, 2007
Evolution and Human Behavior January 2008 Volume 29, Issue 1, Pages 26-34