Diet quality and the attractiveness of male body odor

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Human axillary sweat may provide information pertaining to genetic relatedness and health status. A significant contributor to good health, both in the short and longer term, is a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. In this study we tested whether dietary fruit and vegetable intake, assessed indirectly by skin spectrophotometry (assessing dietary carotenoid intakes) and subjectively by food frequency questionnaire, was associated with more pleasant smelling sweat. Male participants provided axillary sweat samples and dietary information. Female participants then evaluated these samples on several affective, qualitative and psychophysical dimensions. The skin spectrophotometry measure (CIELab b*), indicative of greater fruit and vegetable intake, was significantly associated with more pleasant smelling sweat (with more floral, fruity, sweet and medicinal qualities), independent of sweat intensity. Self-report dietary data revealed that fat, meat, egg and tofu intake was associated with more pleasant smelling sweat, and greater carbohydrate intake with stronger smelling less pleasant sweat. These data parallel facial judgments, in which yellower more carotenoid rich skin, is found to be more attractive.

LanguageEnglish
Pages136-143
Number of pages8
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

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odor
vegetable
skin
fruit
diet
sweat
nutritional adequacy
odors
Sweat
Diet
Odorants
carotenoid
spectrophotometry
skin (animal)
Vegetables
Fruit
Skin
fat
carbohydrate
egg

Cite this

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abstract = "Human axillary sweat may provide information pertaining to genetic relatedness and health status. A significant contributor to good health, both in the short and longer term, is a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. In this study we tested whether dietary fruit and vegetable intake, assessed indirectly by skin spectrophotometry (assessing dietary carotenoid intakes) and subjectively by food frequency questionnaire, was associated with more pleasant smelling sweat. Male participants provided axillary sweat samples and dietary information. Female participants then evaluated these samples on several affective, qualitative and psychophysical dimensions. The skin spectrophotometry measure (CIELab b*), indicative of greater fruit and vegetable intake, was significantly associated with more pleasant smelling sweat (with more floral, fruity, sweet and medicinal qualities), independent of sweat intensity. Self-report dietary data revealed that fat, meat, egg and tofu intake was associated with more pleasant smelling sweat, and greater carbohydrate intake with stronger smelling less pleasant sweat. These data parallel facial judgments, in which yellower more carotenoid rich skin, is found to be more attractive.",
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Diet quality and the attractiveness of male body odor. / Zuniga, Andrea; Stevenson, Richard J.; Mahmut, Mehmut K.; Stephen, Ian D.

In: Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol. 38, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 136-143.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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