It used to be, when given the option, you would probably choose being pear-shaped over being apple-shaped.
It was pretty much accepted that the type of fat that apple-shaped people held – usually around the abdominal or central areas – was more metabolically active, and also more harmful to blood lipid levels, than the fat found in pear-shaped people. Pear-shaped people hold their fat in their buttocks and thighs region.
Apple-shaped people are thought to be at higher risk for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors (including high waist circumference) that increases risk for other chronic diseases.
But now, a new study from UC Davis to be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism indicates that pear-shaped people who hold fat in their buttocks area, also called gluteal fat, secrete abnormal levels of proteinaceoius biomarkers that increase risk for inflammation and metabolic syndrome.
The CDC estimates that 35% of adults over age 20 have metabolic syndrome. And those with metabolic syndrome double their risk of heart disease and quintuple risk for diabetes development.
So what’s the bottom line?
Pear-shaped people with fat in their butt and thighs may not be protected against metabolic syndrome. Losing excess weight and getting blood sugar, lipids, and blood pressure in check is a better approach for preventing metabolic syndrome.