Skip to main content

The value of facial attractiveness for encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption: analyses from a randomized controlled trial.

Appleton, K., McGrath, A.J., McKinley, M.C., Draffin, C.R., Hamill, L.L., Young, I.S. and Woodside, J.V., 2018. The value of facial attractiveness for encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption: analyses from a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 18, 298.

Full text available as:

s12889-018-5202-6.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1186/s12889-018-5202-6


BACKGROUND: An effect of increased fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption on facial attractiveness has been proposed and recommended as a strategy to promote FV intakes, but no studies to date demonstrate a causal link between FV consumption and perceived attractiveness. This study investigated perceptions of attractiveness before and after the supervised consumption of 2, 5 or 8 FV portions/day for 4 weeks in 30 low FV consumers. Potential mechanisms for change via skin colour and perceived skin healthiness were also investigated. METHODS: Faces were photographed at the start and end of the 4 week intervention in controlled conditions. Seventy-three independent individuals subsequently rated all 60 photographs in a randomized order, for facial attractiveness, facial skin yellowness, redness, healthiness, clarity, and symmetry. RESULTS: Using clustered multiple regression, FV consumption over the previous 4 weeks had no direct effect on attractiveness, but, for female faces, some evidence was found for an indirect impact, via linear and non-linear changes in skin yellowness. Effect sizes, however, were small. No association between FV consumption and skin healthiness was found, but skin healthiness was associated with facial attractiveness. CONCLUSIONS: Controlled and objectively measured increases in FV consumption for 4 weeks resulted indirectly in increased attractiveness in females via increases in skin yellowness, but effects are small and gradually taper as FV consumption increases. Based on the effect sizes from this study, we are hesitant to recommend the use of facial attractiveness to encourage increased FV consumption. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical trial Registration Number NCT01591057 ( ). Registered: 27th April, 2012.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Effect sizes; Facial attractiveness; Fruit and vegetables; Public health; Skin colour
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:30498
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:20 Mar 2018 09:56
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:10


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -