The research claims the more physically attractive men and women are rated, the more unlikely they are to suffer from a wide range of health problems, from high cholesterol to depression.
They also feel healthier, have less time off work and are diagnosed with fewer physical and mental health conditions during their lifetime.
The findings are based on a study of 15,000 men and women aged 24 to 35 who have been followed since they were ten. Continue...
It’s the biggest study yet to find links between attractiveness and good health, and the first to home in on a number of individual diseases.
The researchers, from the University of Cincinnati and other centres, point out that, until now, most studies have been on students.
Unlike earlier studies, this is based on the researchers’ ratings of the participants’ physical attractiveness done face-to-face, rather than assessments based on pictures, drawings or videos.
The researchers, whose work is being published in the journal Evolution And Human Behaviour, say that attractiveness may be a marker of good genes, which also signal good health, as well as increasing the likelihood of having healthy offspring.
The study involved face-to-face interviews and questionnaires, as well as an analysis of health data.
The men and women were quizzed about whether they had been diagnosed with various conditions or suffered symptoms of them.
Attractiveness rating was based on the assessment made by each interviewer after a 90-minute session. The men and women were put into five categories — very unattractive, unattractive, about average, attractive or very attractive.
There were direct links between attractiveness and a number of health conditions, and the more attractive the person was rated, the lower the risk of ill-health.