As if pretty people didn't have enough advantages, they may also give us a glance at their reproductive health, according to a paper in the American Journal of Human Biology reveals a link between Body Mass Index (BMI) and the amount of bacteria colonizing noses.

The results show that heavier men harbor more potentially pathogenic species of bacteria in their nose, compared with slimmer, more traditionally attractive men.

"According to an evolutionary point of view, traits related to attractiveness are supposed to be honest signals of biological quality," according to lead author Dr. Boguslaw Pawlowski of the University of Wroclaw. "We analyzed whether nasal and throat colonization with potentially pathogenic bacteria is related to body height and BMI in both sexes."

103 healthy females and 90 healthy males (mean age of 21.4 and 22.8, respectively - college students are always available) participated in the study. Heights and weights were self-reported, while waist and hip circumferences were measured. Six potentially pathogenic bacteria were isolated and identified from nasal and throat swabs. Carrier and non-carrier individuals were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test 

The results showed that 'colonized' men were found to have a higher BMI than non-colonized males, although no differences were found in females.

"To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to study body morphology traits related to physical attractiveness in relation to bacterial colonization in young people," said Pawlowski. "The results confirmed our hypothesis, but only for BMI in males."

Citation: Boguslaw Pawlowski, Judyta Nowak, Barbara Borkowska and Zuzanna Drulis-Kawa, 'Human body morphology, prevalence of nasopharyngeal potential bacterial pathogens, and immunocompetence handicap principal', American Journal of Human Biology
12 FEB 2014 DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22510