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Tuesday, 13 November 2007 21:09

Curvy women smarter and give birth to higher-IQ children

Universities of Pittsburgh and California (Santa Barbara) researchers found that women with “hourglass” figures are more intelligent than women with round or straight bodies, and tend to give birth to children who are more intelligent.         

The hourglass-shaped woman is defined as one whose shape consists of a smaller waist than hips. 

These hourglass-shaped women were found to also produce more intelligent children, which the study concludes is due to having more omega-3 fatty acids stored in their hips, which is not found as much in other shaped women.

Omega-3, which is found in oily fish, is a substance that is necessary for the proper growth of the fetus’ brain during pregnancy.

Women with larger waists, more rounded bodies, have more omega-6 stored in their waists, which was found to be less suited to brain growth, and less omega-3 stored in their hips, which is also less desirable for brain growth. Slender women, with smaller waists and hips, were found to have less omega-3 and omega-6, overall, in both hips and waists. This combination would have less affect on intelligence of the baby.

The eating of omega-3 in such fish as wild salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, is also linked to a healthier life style for adults. More concentrations of omega-6 over omega-3 in the human body has been thought to produce more diseases, but that connection has not been verified. Omega-6 is found in cereals, nuts, whole-grains, vegetable oils, and eggs and poultry.

The report, which will be published the week of November 11, 2007, in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, states that based on a study of 16,000 women and girls, females with smaller waists and bigger hips are more intelligent then females with other shapes.

Specifically, the study found that the greater difference between the circumference of the waist and the hips, the higher the women performed on intelligence tests.

The paper was made available online on October 29, 2007 at the journal’s website.

The article is entitled “Waist-hip ratio and cognitive ability: is gluteofemoral fat a privileged store of neurodevelopmental resources?”. The two authors are William D. Lassek, from the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), and Steven J.C. Gaulin, from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The abstract to the paper states, “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 goes on to say, “Moreover, because teenage mothers and their children compete for these resources, their cognitive development should be compromised, but less so for mothers with lower WHRs. These predictions are supported by data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Controlling for other correlates of cognitive ability, women with lower WHRs and their children have significantly higher cognitive test scores, and teenage mothers with lower WHRs and their children are protected from cognitive decrements associated with teen births. These findings support the idea that WHR reflects the availability of neurodevelopmental resources and thus offer a new explanation for men's preference for low WHR.”


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