Stressed Men More Attracted To Heavy Women

British researchers found that men exposed to tasks that were designed to put them under pressure preferred a wider range of female body sizes. They conclude that stress can act to alter judgments of potential partners. The work by a team from London and Newcastle is published in the open access journal Plos One.

Dr Martin Tovee from Newcastle University and his colleague, Dr Viren Swami, have previously researched what factors could alter BMI preferences, including publishing a paper in the British Journal of Psychology on the effect of hunger, and the influence of the media. But through this new work they aimed to investigate whether known cross-cultural differences in body size preferences linked to stress were also mirrored in short-term stressful situations.

To simulate heightened stress, a test group of men were placed in interview and public speaking scenarios and their BMI preferences compared against a control group of non-stressed men. The results indicated that the change in “environmental conditions” led to a shift of weight preference towards heavier women with the men considering a wider range of body sizes attractive.

The research supports other work that has shown perceptions of physical attractiveness alter with levels of economic and physiological stress linked to lifestyle. Moreover, the researchers were keen to emphasize how fluctuating environmental conditions could alter the popular perception of an “ideal” body size.

“There’s a continual pushing down of the ideal, but this preference is flexible. Changing the media, changing your lifestyle, all these things can change what you think is the ideal body size,” he said.

Do you agree with this study? What body size do you prefer in a partner? Share your opinions and preferences with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: International Business Times

U.N.: Land and Water Scarcity Affects World Food Supply

A rapidly growing population, climate change and degradation of land and water resources are likely to make the world more vulnerable to food insecurity and challenge the task of feeding its people by 2050, the United Nations’ food agency said.

Intensive farming of the past decades has helped to feed millions of hungry people but it has often led to degradation of land and water systems on which food production depends, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday. A quarter of the earth’s land is highly degraded, another 8 percent is moderately degraded, while 36 percent is stable or slightly degraded and 10 percent ranked as improving.

Water scarcity is growing as salinisation and pollution of groundwater, as well as degradation of water bodies and water-related ecosystems rise. In many large rivers, only 5 percent of former water volumes remain in-stream and some rivers no longer reach the sea year-round. Large lakes and inland seas have shrunk and half the wetlands of Europe and North America no longer exist.

Almost 1 billion people are now undernourished, with 578 million people in Asia and 239 million in sub-Saharan Africa. In developing countries, even if agricultural output doubled by 2050 as expected to feed the world, one person in 20 would still risk being undernourished, an equivalent to 370 million hungry people, most of whom would be in Africa and Asia, it said.

Future agricultural production would have to rise faster than population growth for nutrition to improve and for food insecurity and hunger to recede. Innovative farming practices such as conservation agriculture, agro-forestry, integrated crop-livestock systems and integrated irrigation-aquaculture systems can help boost food production while limiting impacts on ecosystems.


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