Both men and women are more likely to be attracted to people who are larger when they go out on an empty stomach, researchers from Westminster University found. (Agencies)
Men, in particular will choose more voluptuous women if they have missed a meal while women go for larger, heavier set men, the study found.
However, scientists warn that when people's hunger is sated, they may not feel the same, a newspaper reported.
Psychologist Dr Viren Swami of Westminster University showed 266 men a series of cartoons of women and asked them to rate them in terms of attractiveness.
Men who were hungrier selected larger women.
"Hunger can change your perception of who is attractive. If a man is hungry they prefer slightly larger size in women. They also prefer slightly larger women in general," said Swami at the Cheltenham Science Festival.
Swami believes that when hungry, people are looking for partners who can supply them with sustenance, and a larger person suggests they have been successful at finding food.
However, Professor Gareth Leng, of the University of Edinburgh, claims the phenomenon may occur because the same part of the brain, which controls hunger, also controls libido.
Both men and women are more likely to be attracted to people who are larger when they go out on an empty stomach, researchers from Westminster University found.