Slender women may have an incentive to keep their husbands or boyfriends well fed.

New research from Westminster University indicates that hunger plays a role in sexual attraction for men — when men are hungrier, they tend to go for larger women.

Psychologist Dr. Viren Swami, who presented his findings at the Cheltenham Science Festival, showed 266 men cartoons of women and asked the men to rate the women’s attractiveness.

“Hunger can change your perception of who is attractive,” Swami said. “If a man is hungry they prefer slightly larger breast size in women. They also prefer slightly larger women in general.”

Swami noted that it takes about six hours without food for the mate weight preference to become substantially evident.

According to Swami, the link between hunger and mate selection is probably practical — a heavier person is likely good at finding food, our brains say — though other scientists speculate that other, fundamental neurological relationships may be at play.

Swami’s study is hardly the first to find a positive correlation between men’s hunger and their attraction to more voluptuous women.

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