Why Women With A Specific Waist-To-Hip Ratio Have Smarter Kids, According Science

Photo: Valeria Zoncoll on Unsplash
Why Women With A Low Waist-To-Hip Ratio Have Smarter Kids, According Science

When women ask, "Does this make my butt look big?" it strikes men with fear.

Well, now it may be OK to say yes, as science has found that mothers who have larger behinds make more intelligent children.

Research conducted at the University of Pittsburgh found that the development of babies' brains depends on fat supplies that are located in their mom's behinds and thighs.

Not only that, but and the amount stored there might directly influence a child's intelligence.

"The fat in these areas is a depot for building a baby's brain," William D. Lassek, M.D, author of "Why Women Need Fat," told The Sunday Times.

RELATED: Women With Bigger Butts Are More Fertile (Says Study)

The fat supplies a chemical known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which Lassek says is "a particularly important component in the human brain."

It's an omega-3 fatty acid that babies need for the development of their brain's nervous systems and eyes in their first six months of life. This chemical is found in breast milk.

According to the study, "Upper-body fat has negative effects and lower-body fat has positive effects on the supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for neurodevelopment. Thus, waist-hip ratio (WHR), a useful proxy for the ratio of upper-body fat to lower-body fat, should predict cognitive ability in women and their offspring."

"It looks as if women have evolved to accumulate these fats and hold on to them — until a baby arrives," Dr. Lassek said. "This is similar to the levels seen in bears going into hibernation or whales living in cold arctic seas."

(Side note to the good doctor: I would be careful comparing women to bears and whales, whether they're expecting children or not.)

RELATED: Women With Bigger Butts Are Smarter And Healthier, Study Says

The study's authors also note that "the unusual fattiness and fat deposition patterns of reproductive-aged women may be the result of natural selection for the ability to support fetal and infant neurodevelopment — a selection pressure that was much weaker in our close primate relatives."

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At least we now know why so many women think of their thighs and butt as problem areas.

It isn't that they have no discipline; it's simply evolution.

RELATED: Study Shows Women With A Specific Body Type Typically Live Longer

Christine Schoenwald is a writer, performer, and teacher who loves writing and performing personal narratives. She's had pieces in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Woman's Day, Purple Clover, Bustle, and is a regular contributor to Ravishly and YourTango. Check out her website or her Facebook page.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on February 12, 2016 and was updated with the latest information.