*If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, some people might take issue with this news; which claims to be the result of a decades-long study (published in the Journal of Evolution & Human Behavior) that says that the more attractive a person is, the healthier he or she usually is.
The study was done by the University of Cincinnati and it followed 15,000 men and women who live in the U. S. They started following these folks at age 10 and stayed with some of them until they reached 24 and others, 35. They tracked their physical and mental health, and say they found striking correlations between beauty and good health—with the most attractive participants being the least likely to suffer from a wide range of ailments such as asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, ADHD and depression.
Well the depression part might be more understandable.
The attractive people were even less likely to stutter or have tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Participants in the study were interviewed for 90-minutes, and rated on a five-tier scale from very unattractive to very attractive by the researchers. According to the study’s overseers, Joseph L. Nedelec and Kevin M. Beaver, for every notch up in the rankings, the risk of disease dropped by anywhere from 13 to 23 percent. For women, the chance of illness dropped by as much as 22 percent for every change in attractiveness rank.
Could it be as simple as this though? Attractive people have greater confidence because they probably have more support i.e. attract friends more easily, get special treatment from some family members? The opposite sex?
The Cincinnati study, however, is notable for its breadth and detail. It also makes the argument that physical attractiveness is part of the evolutionary process by which people determine how suitable a mate is for having successful offspring. Of course, there’s also the chicken-and-egg question: Are beautiful people healthier because everyone else treats them better, or do we naturally perceive healthier people as being beautiful because they’d be more likely to pass on good genes? According to some scientists, it’s probably a bit of each.