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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2024

Chronic and immediate refined carbohydrate consumption and facial attractiveness

Abstract

The Western diet has undergone a massive switch since the second half of the 20 th century, with the massive increase of the consumption of refined carbohydrate associated with many adverse health effects. The physiological mechanisms linked to this consumption, such as hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinemia, may impact non medical traits such as facial attractiveness. To explore this issue, the relationship between facial attractiveness and immediate and chronic refined carbohydrate consumption estimated by glycemic load was studied for 104 French subjects. Facial attractiveness was assessed by opposite sex raters using pictures taken two hours after a controlled breakfast. Chronic consumption was assessed considering three high glycemic risk meals: breakfast, afternoon snacking and between-meal snacking. Immediate consumption of a high glycemic breakfast decreased facial attractiveness for men and women while controlling for several control variables, including energy intake. Chronic refined carbohydrate consumption had different effects on attractiveness depending on the meal and/or the sex. Chronic refined carbohydrate consumption, estimated by the glycemic load, during the three studied meals reduced attractiveness, while a high energy intake increased it. Nevertheless, the effect was reversed for men concerning the afternoon snack, for which a high energy intake reduced attractiveness and a high glycemic load increased it. These effects were maintained when potential confounders for facial attractiveness were controlled such as age, age departure from actual age, masculinity/femininity (perceived and measured), BMI, physical activity, parental home ownership, smoking, couple status, hormonal contraceptive use (for women), and facial hairiness (for men). Results were possibly mediated by an increase in age appearance for women and a decrease in perceived masculinity for men. The physiological differences between the three meals studied and the interpretation of the results from an adaptive/maladaptive point of view in relation to our new dietary environment are discussed.
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Dates and versions

hal-04483680 , version 1 (29-02-2024)
hal-04483680 , version 2 (11-03-2024)

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Amandine Visine, Valérie Durand, Léonard Guillou, Michel Raymond, Claire Berticat. Chronic and immediate refined carbohydrate consumption and facial attractiveness. PLoS ONE, 2024, ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0298984⟩. ⟨hal-04483680v2⟩
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