Two researchers, Steven Gaulin and William Lassek believe our attraction to an hourglass figure may have evolutionary significance. In a recent study, Lassek and Gaulin found that a woman’s waist-to-hip ratio had an impact on a child’s intelligence; curvy women birthed children with superior cognitive abilities. “Men respond because it’s reproductively important,” Lassek believes.
Omega-3 fatty acids, the same fat found in flax and certain types of fish, are believed to be the source of the benefits. These fats compose much of the human brain (which is 60% fat by dry weight). They are selectively stored in the hips and thighs beginning in adolescence. Notably, women do not begin to metabolize these deposits except during the third trimester of pregnancy and during lactation – peak times for a child’s brain growth.