Study: Fit women are more attractive because they appear younger


    Study: Fit women are more attractive because they appear younger

  • 1 Thinner women remind men of youth and appear more attractive because of that

    A study showed that women with less fat remind men of youth and are thus perceived as more attractive.

  • 2 Results were published in the study 'The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness'

    The study 'The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness' was funded by the National Science Foundation of China and published in the journal PeerJ in 2015.

  • 3 Body fatness affects attractiveness because of many reasons

    Women with body fat above a certain healthy level have greater risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and lower fertility. This might negatively affect their attractiveness. However, fatter women might have had higher levels of survival chances during famines.

  • 4 The study searched for optimal fatness levels

    Because of positive and negative aspects fat has on the person, the study tried to assert that there exists the optimal level of fatness.

  • 5 'Is attractiveness a hard-wired evolutionary understanding?'

    Professor Speakman said, 'What we wanted to investigate was the idea that when we look at someone and think they are physically attractive, are we actually making that assessment based on a hard-wired evolutionary understanding of their potential for future survival and reproductive ability?'

  • 6 A model predicted that body mass index (BMI) between 24 and 24.8 would be the most attractive

    A mathematical model combined the relationships between levels of obesity and the future risk of mortality from all causes, and the relationship between obesity and the future possibility of having children. The model yielded BMI between 24 and 24.8 as the most attractive.

  • 7 1,300 people were tested

    The model's prediction was tested by 1,300 people, both males and females, from 10 countries. They were shown 21 images showing females with different levels of body fatness and were asked to rate their attractiveness.

  • 8 The mathematical model failed to predict the results

    The study showed how the very thinnest women (BMI 19) were rated as most attractive. As fatness increased above that value, the less attractive they were rated. This shows how the mathematical model failed to predict that BMI of 24 to 24.8 would be the most attractive one.

  • 9 Age perception was determined to be the true reason behind the failure of the mathematical model

    The reason for the failure of the mathematical model was revealed when subjects were asked how old they thought the people in the images were. They thought that the fatter people were older.

  • 10 When age was included as a factor, the predicted BMI was corrected

    When the age factor was added to the mathematical model, the optimum fatness fell to BMI from 17 to 20. This correctly then predicted the most attractive images.

  • 11 Thinness in females is attractive because people equate it with youth

    A BMI of 17 to 20 corresponds to the average BMI of 18 to 20 year old women with maximum fertility and minimal risk of future diseases.

  • 12 Results were consistent across continents

    The results were consistent across European, African and Asian test groups.

  • 13 Historical exposure to famine wasn't a factor

    The study also discovered that historical exposure to famine wasn't an important factor driving the link between fatness and attractiveness.