A new study found that having wide hips or large hips could help a person live longer while doing the opposite with a large waist.
The researchers looked at data from more than 2.5 million individuals between the ages of three and 24.
The new ground-breaking study was published in the British Medical Journal recently.
Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Khan is the author of the study at the University of Toronto, Canada's Department of Nutritional Sciences.
The study also found that an 11 percent greater chance of dying prematurely was associated with every additional 4 inches (10 cm) of waist size.
"Dr Khan said:" Instead of focusing only on weight or BMI, people should be more concerned about their waist.
"Waist is a better indicator of belly fat and while one cannot target where one loses fat from, losing weight through diet and exercise will also reduce waist and therefore belly fat.
"Belly fat is the fat that is stored around the organs in the abdomen and its excess is linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
"Therefore, having more belly fat can increase the risk of dying from these diseases."
However, Dr Khan says hip fat is considered beneficial and thigh size is an indicator of the amount of muscle.
Their findings suggest that thigh and hip circumference were "inversely associated with all-cause morality risk".
Each 10cm increase in hip circumference was associated with a 10% lower risk of death from all causes.