Are you apple-shaped? Blame it on a protein

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have shed light on why some people are apple-shaped and others are pear-shaped.

Researchers have pinpointed a protein that plays a part in how fat is stored in the body.

The latest findings give greater understanding of how the protein works, which could help development of medicines to treat obesity.

Levels of the protein – known as 11BetaHSD1 – tend to be higher in the presence of an unhealthy type of body fat which tends to be stored around the torso – typical of `apple-shapes`.

Healthier fat, linked to lower levels of the protein, tends to be stored around the hips and is used more safely by the body as a source of energy – typical of people who are `pear-shaped`.

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