Women Prefer the Smell of Men Who Eat Healthier

'Odor is an important component of attractiveness,' and carbs aren't helping
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 11:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Guys have sort of a weird new reason to opt for the salad over the nachos: In a new study in the journal Evolution & Human Behavior, researchers found that women prefer the smell of sweat given off by men who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to men who eat a bunch of carbs—in other words, women prefer to smell the healthier dudes, reports NPR. Men with a meat-heavy diet ranked higher than those with carb-heavy diets, but smelled "more intense," per NPR. "We've known for a while that odor is an important component of attractiveness, especially for women," says a study co-author.

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The scientists tested this by using a spectrophotometer to shine a light on the male participants' skin and measure the color that is reflected back, which turns out to be a pretty good gauge of diet. They also had the men complete a survey about their eating habits, and finally put on a clean shirt and exercise. Then women were asked to blindly rate the resulting sweat samples, and they rather consistently "found that men who ate more vegetables smelled nicer," the co-author says. In less diplomatic terms, "carbs are making you stink, man," writes Clay Skipper at GQ, concluding, "an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but it turns out it can also maybe help get you laid." (Apparently celery works pheromone wonders.)

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