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Study shows overweight baby girls are unlikely to become slender women

Posted in: Women's Health 30 Mar, 2012

If a man wears an oversized jumper and baggy jeans he’ll look pretty stylish is a casual ‘I just fell out of bed and into any old thing’ kind of way. But if a girl tries to pull off the same look, the chances are she’ll either look like a tomboy or men will assume there’s something bad going on under the clothes which she’s trying to cover up.

In addition to unrealistic standards of beauty, women are also faced with fashion expectations, which some seasons mean bodycon dresses and crop tops, something few of us can pull off without hitting the gym twice a day, seven days a week and giving up chocolate forever. Furthermore, studies into the different female body shapes show that depending on where you carry your fat you are more likely to suffer from heart failure, diabetes or cancer than a man is, even if his body mass index (BMI) is higher.

Already it seems like the scales are tipped slightly unfairly in favour of our male counterparts, yet a new study has shown that baby girls who are born overweight are more likely to remain so for the rest of their lives, whilst body weight at birth had no effect on the development of males.

Scientists at the University of Western Australia have studied over a thousand girls from the ages of one to 17, in order to ascertain how much of an impact birth weight has on the risks of heart disease and diabetes in later life.

It has also shown that girls who were born overweight will develop a slower metabolism, making it extremely hard for them to grow up into the toned, slender models whose figure was made for skinny jeans.

Men, on the other hand, have no excuse for the beer belly which can somehow end up looking charming - or even attractive - on some people. With no pressure to look like the cast of Baywatch in a bikini, lose baby weight at the rate of Hollywood yummy mummies or put themselves through the most fashionable diet of the moment, it now transpires that men are even born with a cleaner slate than women.

If you’re ready to throw in the gym towel, get yourself a large tub of Ben & Jerry’s and hope to be born again a man, here’s a small re-assurance that it may all be worth it. Across the developed world women live between 5 to 10 years longer than the average man and of the people who live to be over 100, 85% are women.

Even when it seems that society, genetics and nature are against us, we somehow still manage to outlive the boys, whether we have the confidence to do so in a size zero mini-dress or not.

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