This study followed 3000 men and women over a 10 year period, to see what happened to their health. The researchers found that the risk rose as thigh size diminished. Apparently it’s to do with less muscle mass in the thighs might lead to low insulin sensitivity and type 2 diabetes.
Even after taking into account the participants weight, lifestyle, stomach measurements (which we’re all told is the most important factor for reducing our likelihood of heart disease), plus of course blood pressure and cholesterol, the risk for those with thighs smaller than the average 60cm/23.5″ circumference, the smaller the size, the greater the risk.
Interestingly, increasing muscle mass in the thighs with weight training (even without reducing body fat) lowers the risk for heart disease.
With 22″ thighs, I’m off to build them up (interestingly there is also a history of heart disease in my family, with my paternal grandmother dying at 55 from it).