London: For women who think being slim makes you look younger, a new study has found that people over 40 look younger if they have fatter face.
During the study, the researchers compared 186 pairs of identical twins and found that shedding pounds could age a woman by an average of four years. Lead researcher Dr Bahaman Guyuron says: "The perceived age of an individual is usually attributed to both genetics and environment in various degrees."
Since the twins` genetic make-up was identical, the differences in how old they looked could be attributed solely to external factors and lifestyle. To reach that conclusion, researchers calculated the body mass index (BMI) of each twin. An ideal BMI for an adult is between 18.5 and 25. Anyone with a BMI lower than 18.5 is classed as underweight.
"A BMI higher by four points was found to result in a younger appearance of between two to four years in women over 40 years old," a newspaper quoted Guyuron as saying.
"The more fat that is preserved in the face, particularly the cheeks, the more you will preserve the facial proportions of youth," said Rajiv Grover, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Secretary of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "Excessive dieting will give a woman a gaunt appearance by leading to volume loss in the midface (cheeks).
"This volume loss can be compounded by yo-yo dieting, where not only do you create volume loss, but also stretching of the facial supporting ligaments due to repeated facial volume gain and volume loss, which causes deeper nose to mouth lines and jowls," he added.
Other factors that had an effect on ageing were divorce, smoking, drinking and sunbathing.