A euphemism has come true. According to a new study by forensic scientists, overweight people really are "big-boned."
The finding will help forensic investigators determine the weight of a long-deceased person a clue to his or her identity by analyzing the size of a skeleton's bones . The width of the femur, in particular, corresponds to body mass. "This research allows us to determine whether an individual was overweight based solely on the characteristics of a skeleton's femur, or thigh bone," said Ann Ross, an anthropologist at North Carolina State who co-led the research, in a press release.
Big bones aren't the reason people are overweight, though it's the other way around. The femurs of overweight people grow larger partly because they must bear more weight, the researchers hypothesize, and partly as a result of the way overweight people move and walk, which differs from others on account of their greater mass.
Discounting those minor details, the study, which was published in the March issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences, will hopefully provide pudgy middle schoolers with a scientifically-backed reply to the taunts of bullies.
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Originally published on Live Science.