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Eating Vegetables Can Give Your Clients a Healthy Tan With Exclusive Commentary on How to Customize Nutrition Recommendations for Clients

Posted: February 24, 2011

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Stephen said: "We found that, given the choice between skin color caused by suntan and skin color caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin color, so if you want a healthier and more attractive skin color, you are better off eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables than lying in the sun."

Stephen suggests that the study is important because evolution would favor individuals who choose to form alliances or mate with healthier individuals over unhealthy individuals.

David Perrett, PhD, who heads the Perception Lab, said, "This is something we share with many other species. For example, the bright yellow beaks and feathers of many birds can be thought of as adverts showing how healthy a male bird is. What's more, females of these species prefer to mate with brighter, more colored males. But this is the first study in which this has been demonstrated in humans."

Although this study describes work in Caucasian faces, the paper also describes a study that suggests the effect may exist cross-culturally, since similar preferences for skin yellowness were found in an African population.

The work was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Unilever Research, and published with support from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the British Academy and Wolfson Foundation.