In a world where thin is in, scientists are suggesting that thicker thighs could mean better health.

A study published in the Harvard Men’s Health Watch newsletter ( involved 2,816 apparently healthy men and women aged 35–65. Each participant was measured for height and weight and for thigh, hip and waist circumference. Subjects were tracked for 12.5 years on average. At the end of the study, the researchers determined that the individuals with thicker thighs had a lower risk of heart disease and premature death than those with thin thighs. More specifically, a circumference of 62 centimeters (cm) where the thigh meets the buttocks was most greatly associated with reduced risk. Having thighs larger than 62 cm didn’t appear to offer any extra benefit. Participants with thinner thighs were linked to progressively higher risk. Body composition was not measured during this study.

“It’s only one study, but its results are impressive,” the newsletter reported. “Still, because scientists measured thigh size but not thigh composition, they can’t tell if the apparent protection of big thighs is due to more muscle, more fat or both.”