By Margarita Nahapetyan
It is not surprising to find that beautiful women do not mind fat men as long as they are rich, and now, a new study has discovered a formula for calculating how much more money a man needs to earn if he gains extra pounds to keep attracting the same type of women.
Pierre-Andre Chiappori, an economics professor at Columbia University, who is studying the effect of extra weight on male and female potential in the "marriage market," says that according to the results of his research women are more likely to forgive extra pounds on men whose wallets are fat. As to men, they are more likely to overlook extra weight in women when those women are smart and well-educated.
Professor Chiappori, along with his colleagues and co-authors Sonia Oreffice and Climent Quitana-Domeque, came up with a formula according to which for every 10 per cent increase in a man's Body Mass Index (BMA), his salary must grow by 2 per cent in order to continue dating on the same level. For example, a man with the height of 180 cm and who weighs 80 kilograms (which is considered to be the perfect BMI) and whose annual salary is $100,000, would have to get a $2000 raise if he gained about extra 9 kilograms and did not want to downgrade the level of women he could date.
However, women who weigh more by 2 BMI units compensate with a year of extra education, and not the money. For instance, if a single woman who is about 170 cm in height and weighs 65 kg gains 3 extra kilograms, she must have one more year of education in order to stay at the same level of attractiveness to potential wooers.
To come up with this conclusion, professor Chiappori and his colleagues examined data on thousands of married men and women in the United States between 1999 and 2007. Ages of women were between 20 and 50 years old; most of the couples were white, and the information on couples with "extreme weights" - less than 70 pounds or more than 400 pounds - was not taken into consideration. The investigators analyzed education level rather than income data in women because a majority of them did not work. For men, their income was used to "proxy a man's socio-economic status." Body Mass Index was used as the "main proxy for non-economic (physical) attractiveness."
According to the paper 'Fatter Attraction', where researchers published their findings, single people use physical and socio-economic attractiveness as the main criteria when looking for individuals they want to date. It was found that other factors, such as sense of humor, were not that important. The study of 667 white American couples by the Panel Study for Income Dynamics revealed that both men and women would rather have slim and rich spouses than overweight and poor ones.
In the conclusion, professor Chiappori said that despite working out a formula for how much extra cash a man must earn, or how much more smart and educated a woman must be, if they put on weight, there is an easier way to handle the problem. As he told The New York Post in the interview, it is much easier to change your BMI than it is to change your salary or level of education.