Body Fat in Women and
Why Women Store More Body Fat Than Men Until Menopause & Estrogen Reduction
Body Fat in Women
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Women Naturally Have More Fat Than Men
Women carry more fat than men. The average woman's body weight is about 27 percent fat, while the average man has only 15 percent body fat. There are many biological reasons for this differential in body fat, although as with most basic body-programming, these reasons date from an earlier age when having a lean body was less preferable in survival terms than a body with surplus fat.
Women's Body Fat Attracts Men
Studies show that added body fat on the breasts, hips and thighs helps to raise the attractiveness of women in men's eyes and reveals female maturity. Less so today perhaps with our cult of thinness and unisex body shapes, but still relevant.
Women's Body Fat and Procreation
Without sufficient body fat, a woman cannot ovulate, menstruate or have children. The danger zone begins when her body fat percentage drops to 17 percent or below, although this can vary from body to body. The equivalent BMI rating is about 18 or below.
Women's Body Fat is Protection and a Source of Energy
Women tend to store fat in their pelvic region, around their hips and thighs. Not only does this fat help to protect vital reproductive organs, it also acts as a source of stored energy for pregnancy and breast-feeding. Interestingly, although both genders develop an increased appetite for dietary fat after puberty, girls develop this desire for fat at a much younger age than boys. (World Health Organization)
Women's Body Fat and Middle Age - Hormones, Weight and Fat
As women enter the menopause they produce less estrogen. This leads to a change in body shape and fat distribution. During fertile life, the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for maintaining the female shape, with it's narrow waist and rounded hips. During and after menopause, the female waist thickens and fat is deposited on the front of the abdomen (stomach area) rather like the male body. In addition, as in men, the metabolic rate slows and fewer calories are required. So if a woman continues to eat normally (without increasing exercise), weight and fat gain are inevitable.
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