For men, a slimmer physique may signal a surprising health advantage

Thursday, February 20th, 2014. Filed under: Beauty & Style Health & Fitness Offbeat
That classically handsome man might be hiding another attractive trait: fewer nose bacteria. ©Andrey_Popov/

That classically handsome man might be hiding another attractive trait: fewer nose bacteria.

(Relaxnews) – New research in the American Journal of Human Biology reveals a link between body mass index (BMI) and the amount of bacteria found in male noses. Results indicate that the noses of heavier or overweight men carry more “potentially pathogenic species of bacteria” than the sniffers of attractive, thinner males.

“According to an evolutionary point of view, traits related to attractiveness are supposed to be honest signals of biological quality,” said Dr. Boguslaw Pawlowski. “We analyzed whether nasal and throat colonization with potentially pathogenic bacteria is related to body height and BMI in both sexes.”

The study featured 103 healthy women and 90 healthy men. Participants reported their heights and weights, while researchers measured waist and hip circumference. After swabbing participants’ noses and throats, researchers identified six potentially pathogenic forms of bacteria.

The results? More bacteria was found in the noses of men with a higher BMI than the snouts of normal-weight males. Surprisingly, no differences were noted among the women.

“To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to study body morphology traits related to physical attractiveness in relation to bacterial colonization in young people,” said Pawlowski. “The results confirmed our hypothesis, but only for BMI in males.”


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