Real women don't just have curves, they also are smarter, live longer and give birth to smarter children, according to a new study.
In the research, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and University of California, Santa Barbara, used data from a study of 16,000 women and girls, which collected details of their body measurements and their scores in cognitive tests. The study was published in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior.
They found that women with a greater difference between the waist and hips scored significantly higher on the tests, as did their children, according to a report in The Sunday Times Online.
For study purposes, curvy women were defined as those whose waists are smaller than their hips. The researchers suggest that the fat around fuller hips and thighs holds higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the growth of the brain during pregnancy. Fat around the waist, on the other hand, may have higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which are less suited to brain growth, the researchers said.
Waist fat can also be a contributory factor in diabetes and heart disease, which is why curvy women are also believed to live longer than their straighter counter parts, research shows.
Thinner or linear-shaped women lack both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids around their waists and hips, which would be likely to boost longevity, but have little effect on intelligence.