• David Steuer

Looking Healthy Is More Important Than Being Healthy When It Comes To Attraction

Updated: Mar 28, 2019



If you want to appear more attractive, skip the expensive creams and gym sessions and pick something simpler: carrots. A new study published in Behavioral Ecology found that to attract a mate you don’t actually have to be healthy — you just need someone to think you’re healthy.

Researchers found that white males with yellow and red pigmented skin were perceived as more attractive, even though they weren’t necessarily healthier. In a small study of 63 young men, 43 received 12 weeks of beta–carotene supplements while 20 received placebos. Subjects were tested on their health and took photos before and after to document changes, reports MedicalXpress.

Then, 66 white females rated the men online in a side-by-side comparison of pre- and post-supplement hues. They found that the after photos were 50 percent more likely to be thought of as attractive and healthier compared to the before images and placebo group. Beta-carotene might have significantly enhanced desirability, but that was the only benefit researchers found, as there were no changes in health functions based on measurements of oxidative stress, immunity and semen quality.


The results of the study, the first to examine how beta-carotene affects health and attractiveness, show that even though yellow and red pigmented skin resulting from carotenoids might be more attractive, it’s not a true indicator of good health.

However, previous studies have shown that carotenoids are important for healthy eyes and can reduce the risk of certain cancers, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Research on attraction has repeatedly shown that people like qualities linked to signs of health. For example, facial symmetry is widely recognized as a key factor in attraction and is believed to indicate good genes to produce kids. Scientists have also found that men really do covet long hair in women as it’s a sign of fertility and health.

Of course, good looks aren’t the only reason to include carotenoid-rich foods into your diet. Commonly found in nutrient-rich foods like tomatoes, carrots and dark leafy greens, they’ll boost more than just your social calendar.


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