Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption may kill millions around the globe every year, so the public health community is not beyond "appealing to vanity."
How can we tell if someone's healthy? You can look for that golden glow that comes from the carotenoids in fruits and vegetables, found to increase the attractiveness of African, Asian, and Caucasian faces. In my video, Eating Better to Look Better, you can see some "before-and-after" shots, before and after increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Most think the pictures representing the greater fruit and veggie group appear healthier and more attractive.
College students who went from three servings a day to the recommended minimum of nine servings a day for just six weeks were able to significantly improve their skin color, though it's possible smaller dietary changes could help as well.
Can't we just swallow supplements instead of salads? See my video Produce, Not Pills, to Increase Physical Attractiveness.
Public health advocates hope that research suggesting healthy eating may "affect mate choice and sexual selection" could provide a powerful message for promoting healthy eating. Their hope is to boost fruit and veggie intake up to 13 servings a day.
And while a rosy glow associated with cardiovascular health in the face and lips can also increase one's appearance of healthfulness and attractiveness, the color red can also reduce junk food intake. People drink less soda from cups with red stickers than from cups with blue stickers, and eat less from red plates than from blue or white plates. How crazy is that? Researchers speculate that it's because our brains are subconsciously thinking "red traffic lights, stop-signs, red alert," and therefore give us pause when we see the color red while eating.
I'm certainly not above appealing to vanity. Whatever it takes to get people healthy. Hence videos like:
- Wart Cancer Viruses in Food
- Preventing Wrinkles with Diet
- Plant-Based Diets: Oral Health
- Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep
- Can Cellulite Be Treated with Diet?
- The Acne-Promoting Effects of Milk
50 Shades of Greens describes a similar tactic to promote more plant-based eating by appealing to sexual function and performance.
-Michael Greger, M.D.