A recent study of almost 5,000 teenagers found that outward appearance isn’t always an indicator when it comes to health.

A new study has shattered the long-held perception that an attractive, symmetrical face is a sign of good health.

It’s long been said that having an attractive face comes with certain evolutionary benefits, like making you more likely to be chosen by a fellow mate of high genetic quality. But a new study by Brunel University suggests good looks aren’t necessarily associated with healthy genes.

The study, which involved 3D facial scans of almost 5,000 UK 15-year-olds, compared facial features with a range of common illnesses including tonsillitis and glandular fever.

Results showed that those with more symmetrical, conventionally attractive faces were just as likely to suffer from a range of illnesses and genetic conditions as their more asymmetrical counterparts.

Study leader, Dr Nicholas Pound said the results bring home the popular adage that beauty is only skin deep.

“The idea that symmetry in facial traits is associated with attractiveness because it reliably indicates good physiological health, particularly to potential sexual partners, has generated an extensive literature on the evolution of human mate choice. But overall, this study does not support the idea facial symmetry acts as a reliable cue to physiological health.”

Have your say: Do you typically think of more attractive people as being fitter, healthier and happier? Why do you think this is?


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