Are Good Looking People Healthier?

Celebrities are easily the pinnacle of looks, but they’re also known for their extreme (and unhealthy) diet fads. They may be skinny, toned, and fit, but are they actually healthier? Are the people who you see who are regular Joes, but are better looking, are they acutally healthier? It’s evolution. According to what some would consider common sense and others would consider evolution, more attractive people may actually be healthier.

I’m not talking about celebrities who really don’t look good until they put on makeup. I’m talking about genuinely good looking people. The University of Cincinnati conducted a study following 15,000 men and women in the US from age 10 to ages 24-35. They tracked their physical and mental health, and over and over again, they observed a striking correlation. The more attractive you were, the better your health. The most attractive people were the least likely to suffer from asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, ADHD, and depression as well as stutters or tinnitus.

They also conducted 90 minute interviews, and they were rated on a five tier scale ranging from very unattractive to very attractive. Study overseers Joseph L Nedelec and Kevin M Beaver found that for every point of attractiveness achieved in the rankings the lower the risk of disease by 13 to 23%. For women, the likelihood of illness could drop by as much as 22% for just one point.

Of course, this is one study, and its results and actual meaning are limited. More attractive people we’ve seen tend to get paid more, get higher grades, and they are even liked more by children. However, compared to other studies, the Cincinnati study has a wide breadth and detail, and they argue that the differences are evolutionarily based.

You could ask what the correlation actually is. Are more attractive people healthier because of their looks, or are their looks correlated with better care that would lead them to be healthier? Do we simply perceive them to be healthier because they pass on their genes? Scientists argue that it could be a bit of each. There is no simple one sided explanation.

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