Hungry men 'prefer to date bigger women'

Overweight women

The best way to a man's heart may be through his stomach after all, new research finds

LAST UPDATED AT 13:55 ON Fri 6 Jun 2014

The University of Westminster has found that men prefer chubbier partners when they go looking for love on an empty stomach.

Research conducted by the university also recorded evidence of the effect in women, but it is more pronounced in men.

Using a sample of 266 heterosexual men in various stages of hunger, psychologist Dr Viren Swami showed a series of female cartoons and asked the participants to rate the images in terms of sexual desirability.

The hungrier men "opted for bigger women with larger breasts", reports the Daily Telegraph. According to Swami, "you could really see a difference in the preferences of those who hadn't eaten".

A larger body indicates an abundance of food and a steady source of sustenance, factors which Swami said are likely to prove particularly appealing to hungry people in search of a mate.

The study found that the additional male desire for more voluptuous women tended to wear off after a good meal.     

In the Metro, Professor Gareth Leng, from the University of Edinburgh, said the results could be due to a link between the part of the brain that controls hunger and the part, called the ventromedial nucleus, which controls libido. 

"When people are hungry the ventromedial nucleus promotes food cravings," the Telegraph reports, "but when they're full it reverts to stimulating the libido instead." 

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