A well-known adage recommends food as the best way to a man’s heart. However, depriving him of food could also be another way to his heart.A new research suggests that the contents of a person’s stomach can influence their decision when seeking out a mate.
Though both men and women are more likely to be attracted to larger people when they go out on an empty stomach, men specifically will pick a more curvaceous woman when hungry while women go for “heavy set” men.
Psychologist Dr Viren Swami of Westminster University asked a group of men in various stages of hunger using a series of cartoons of women, to rate them in terms of attractiveness. He found that those who hadn’t eaten for a while where more drawn to curvy women with bigger breast.
The researchers believe a woman’s shape – particularly her chest size – is seen to indicate her level of fat reserves
However, the research also found that the lust for voluptuous women sometimes diminishes after the men had eaten a good meal
While presenting his research to the Cheltenham Science Festival, Dr Swami said: ‘Hunger can change your perception of who is attractive. If a man is hungry they prefer slightly larger breast size in women. They also prefer slightly larger women in general.
“For women then generally prefer a slightly heavier man.
“In studies, they hadn’t eaten for about six hours and you could see a real difference in their preferences.”
Professor Gareth Leng, of the University of Edinburgh, claims the results are due to a link between the part of the brain that controls hunger and the part that controls libido.
“There is a good piece of science behind it,” he said: “Sex and hunger are two fundamental drives.
“It probably explains why we go for dinner and then want to have sex.”
A part of the brain called the ‘ventromedial nucleus’ is full of ‘cuddle hormone’ oxytocin which controls appetite and sex drive. When people are hungry the hormone is being used to promote food cravings rather than sex drive so a person would subconsciously choose a partner who could ‘feed them.’
But when they are full, oxytocin then starts to promote libido and the usual feelings of attraction kick back in. so, though hunger and sex are basic drives we cannot pursue them both at the same time. Hence, some people tend to have a ravenous appetite after sex.
Dr Swami also said people are more likely to find work colleagues and neighbours more attractive than strangers.
“We are much more likely to form relationships with people who are nearby; people who we work with, who we go to school with, who we see on a regular basis. But we also find people more attractive who we see more often.
This might explain why majority of us still date our colleagues despite the abundance of advice out there suggesting, interoffice romance should never be embarked on, as it is career suicide.