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Carbohydrate Consumption, Facial Attractiveness May be Linked

— April 5, 2024

Study shows eating refined carbs can decrease physical attractiveness.

Much of the attention in recent years of building a healthy diet has focused on carbohydrates, or carbs. The news just continues to get worse for many carbs – refined carbs, specifically – as it seems that they bring with them a long list of negative health impacts without much positive to be said. Now, another new study can be added to the list of problems for foods high in this category, as it may be the case that consuming too many carbs is connected to decreased facial attractiveness in the eyes of others.

The obvious problem with evaluating attractiveness is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What one person finds attractive might not be attractive to another, so it can be hard to perform studies in this area. The approach used by the University of Montpellier, France relied on volunteers of the opposite sex who were heterosexual and were willing to evaluate the facial attractiveness of study participants.

There were slightly over 100 participants in the study, including both men and women. After receiving a breakfast that was either high or low on the glycemic index, the participants were rated on their facial attractiveness. It was seen in the end that those who had a low glycemic index breakfast were found to be more attractive overall than the other group. The study isn’t able to prove why that might be the case, but it is an interesting finding, nonetheless.

Carbohydrate Consumption, Facial Attractiveness May be Linked
Photo by Adrienn from Pexels

Another interesting thing uncovered during this study was how the ratings of attractiveness tended to vary based on what the raters had eaten and when they were rating. For instance, high energy intake during the afternoon in men led them to rate the women they observed lower than the average across the study. This seems to indicate that it also matters what the observer has consumed in terms of what they are going to find attractive.

Cutting down on refined carbs as a way to get healthy is not a new movement. While it usually isn’t viewed from the perspective of attractiveness, as it was in this study, it’s still an important piece of the obesity epidemic and everything that comes with it. Foods that are high in refined carbs tend to be cheap and easy to obtain, but they come with a serious long-term cost as they can rapidly influence health and cause people to encounter a range of issues moving forward.

Whether or not this new study serves as motivation to cut down on refined carbohydrates will vary from person to person. Of course, if someone isn’t motivated by the idea of being more attractive, they might be motivated to cut down on carbs for other reasons, such as maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding other negative health outcomes. Whatever the case, it seems clear that an overall improvement in public health is going to have to be tied to a reduction in the volume of refined carbohydrates that are consumed.


Perceived Facial Attractiveness Might Be Associated with Refined Carbohydrates Consumptions: Study

Does eating carbohydrates impact facial attractiveness?

Consumption of high-glycemic foods linked to lower facial attractiveness

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