Generally speaking, men tend to go for women who are thinner. They’re just more attractive to the majority of guys, and the evolutionary explanation for that has always been that they subconsciously see women with smaller BMIs as being healthier and therefore more fertile. Turns out, that’s a load of bull—a new study has proven that thinner women aren’t any better off than curvier ones.
Research published in Evolutionary Psychology revealed that while typically speaking, women with a BMI of 20 or below and a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 are seen as healthiest and most fertile to guys, there’s actually little (if any) actual evidence to back up this claim. The study authors went back over all the research done on the topic and found that instead of corroborating this long-held idea, the science actually refuted it. That’s right: women with lower BMIs were actually less fertile.
In addition, the data, which was take from 3,164 American women who’d taken part in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, revealed that women with lower BMIs gave birth at a lower rate than those with higher BMIs.
A separate study of 5,076 American women, taken from the same Survey data, revealed that lower waist size didn’t mean better health. As study co-author William Lassek explained, “Science progresses because even views which most scientists accept are still subject to criticism and testing. Although it makes sense that men would want mates with high fertility, the evidence does not support this. Women with features that are judged attractive (in groups with plenty of food), like a low body mass index, actually have lower fertility and a greater likelihood of having a newborn who does not survive.”
While no one would argue that obesity is a good thing for health, that’s not what this study is about. It’s about proving that you don’t have to be a stick figure in order to be healthy, fertile, and yes, even attractive. It’s totally possible (and even likely) to be elsewhere in the average weight range and be in peak health. Good to know!
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