Peoples ratings of physical attractiveness are not related to their own level of obesity
What is it about?
We know that people with obesity are more likely to end up in relationships with other people that have obesity: called assortative mating. This is important because offspring from such liaisons have a double dose of obesity risk alelles. Yet the reasons why this happens are unclear. One hypothesis is called the mutual attraction hypothesis which suggests people with obesity find others with obesity more attractive than lean people. This study involved populations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA and shows that in none of these populations is it the case that people with obesity systematically find other people with obesity more attractive than lean subjects. hence the mutual attraction hypothesis can be rejected.
Why is it important?
Offspring of liaisons where both partners have obesity have a much greater risk of developing obesity themselves. Understanding why assortative mating for obesity happens may allow us to devise strategies to disrupt it.
The following have contributed to this page: Professor John Speakman
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