Researchers discover that the genes active in a person’s belly fat are significantly different from those in his or her thigh fat, a finding that could shift the way we approach unwanted belly fat—from banishing it to relocating it.
Men tend to store fat in the abdominal area, but don’t usually have much in the way of hips or thighs. Women, on the other hand, are more often pear-shaped—storing more fat on their hips and thighs than in the belly.
Why are women and men shaped differently?
The answer still isn’t clear, but it’s an issue worth investigating, says Steven Smith, M.D., director of the Florida Hospital – Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes. That’s because belly fat is associated with higher risks of heart disease and diabetes. On the other hand, hip and thigh fat don’t seem to play a special role in these conditions.