Women witth fatter tums better able to deal with stress

Salt Lake City: Women who have extra fat around their middle may enjoy significant health advantages over slimmer hourglass-shaped females, says a 37-nation study in the journal, Current Anthropology.

Elizabeth Cashdan, a Utah University anthropologist, says that being thinner could mean missing out on the hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress.

Her study shows that across the world, women’s average waist-to-hip ratio is higher than the magic number of 0.7, the upper threshold of a classic hourglass figure – and the shape that anthropologists believe indicate female fertility to the opposite sex.

It is thought that bigger women have more androgens, a class of hormones that includes testosterone.Androgens increase the waist-to-hip ratio in women by boosting levels of visceral fat, which is carried around the waist. Raised levels of androgens are linked to increased strength, stamina and competitiveness in women, says Cashdan.

Trading the benefits of a thin waist for better ability to be independently resourceful may prove a good deal in many societies, she adds – and this in turn may alter male preferences.

Thus, in Japan, Portugal and Greece, where women tend to be less economically independent, the men say they place a higher value on a thin waist than do men in Britain or Denmark, where there tends to be more sexual equality.

And in some non-Western societies where food is scarce and women bear most of the responsibility for finding it, men prefer larger waist-to-hip ratios.

“Whether men prefer a waist-to-hip ratio associated with lower or higher androgen levels should depend on the degree to which they want their mates to be strong, tough, economically successful and politically competitive,” says Cashdan .

Love your gut – the key to good health!


London: To mark the 10th anniversary of Gut Week, which is taking place now until the 20th July, a new website has been launched urging people to get in touch with their digestive systems and look after their gut health.

www.loveyourgut.com aims to get people thinking and talking about digestive health. Around a third of people in the UK regularly suffer from digestive symptoms[1] – yet the subject remains taboo, with a widespread reluctance to recognise and confront gut health problems.

Gut Week is a joint campaign, run by digestive health charities Core, The Gut Trust and St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow in association with Yakult.

Campaign supporter, This Morning’s Dr Chris Steele believes < ahref="http://www.loveyourgut.com">www.loveyourgut.com will help get people thinking more about digestive health. “It can be hard for many people to seek medical advice over bowel problems as they feel embarrassed or don’t know what to say,” said Dr Steele.

“There is no substitute for seeing your GP or practice nurse, but if people need to check their symptoms, learn what terminology to use or just use it to learn more about their bodies, then this new site could be the first step they take on the path to better digestive health.”

The need for a comprehensive site for digestive problems has become vital. Recent research has shown that just 11% of people would willingly discuss bowel habits with workmates, whilst 40% would not seek medical advice even if they detected a change in bowel function[2]. However, over a third of us say we do use the internet to gain health advice[3] .
www.loveyourgut.com offers simple, accessible, practical help and advice on digestive health, including:

· A wide range of tips for achieving and maintaining good digestive health, from experts such as Nicki Waterman and Dr. Nick Read;

· Advice on potentially serious digestive symptoms to watch out for – and what to do if any warning signs are detected;

· A practical guide on communicating gut problems to your GP

· A monthly ‘Ask the Doctor’ column, where experts will answer your digestive queries online;

· A complete guide to each of the components of the digestive system (there are more than you think!), with details on the vital role played by each one;

· Fascinating digestive facts (did you know if all the bacteria in your intestines were all lined up side by side, they would stretch twice round the equator?);

· A comprehensive overview of many of the most common digestive complaints, with information on causes and symptoms as well as prevention and treatment;

· ‘Gut-friendly’ recipes from Love Your Gut supporters such as Antony Worrall Thompson;

· Profiles of the many celebrities and experts who support the Gut Week campaign, including amongst others Gaby Roslin, Denise Welch, former Olympic swimmer James Hickman, Antony Worrall Thompson, Ian Marber (The Food Doctor) and This Morning’s Dr. Chris Steele.

· Fun educational activities including the exclusive ‘Gut Game’ where you will find yourself in charge of a sandwich as it makes its way through the gut!