Keep your family small to keep your good looks, study claims

  • 25/12/2017
Things go downhill once you have three or more children.
Things go downhill once you have three or more children. Photo credit: Getty / File

Parents can officially blame their thirdborn child for their fading good looks, a new study suggests.

According to the research lead by Poland's Jagiellonian University, a smaller family will help you keep looking attractive for longer.

It claims if you stop at just one or two children, you'll look better post-menopause than you would if you had a larger family, thanks to the toll of breastfeeding, childcare and pregnancy.

The study saw around 500 people, both men and women, judge photos of middle-aged women. Those who had fewer children were found to look younger and more attractive, while those with more children tended to have saggier faces.

The least attractive women were judged to be those with seven to eight children, according to the research published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

"These results suggest that costs of reproduction might affect women's physical appearance," the authors wrote in the paper.

The researchers suggested higher levels of oxidative stress - when your body doesn't have enough antioxidants - among woman with more children "may explain their faster aging and lower attractiveness in older age".