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Data from: BMI and WHR are reflected in female facial shape and texture: a geometric morphometric image analysis

Citation

Mayer, Christine; Windhager, Sonja; Schaefer, Katrin; Mitteroecker, Philipp (2017), Data from: BMI and WHR are reflected in female facial shape and texture: a geometric morphometric image analysis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.133b9

Abstract

Facial markers of body composition are frequently studied in evolutionary psychology and are important in computational and forensic face recognition. We assessed the association of body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with facial shape and texture (color pattern) in a sample of young Middle European women by a combination of geometric morphometrics and image analysis. Faces of women with high BMI had a wider and rounder facial outline relative to the size of the eyes and lips, and relatively lower eyebrows. Furthermore, women with high BMI had a brighter and more reddish skin color than women with lower BMI. The same facial features were associated with WHR, even though BMI and WHR were only moderately correlated. Yet BMI was better predictable than WHR from facial attributes. After leave-one-out cross-validation, we were able to predict 25% of variation in BMI and 10% of variation in WHR by facial shape. Facial texture predicted only about 3-10% of variation in BMI and WHR. This indicates that facial shape primarily reflects total fat proportion, rather than the distribution of fat within the body. The association of reddish facial texture in high-BMI women may be mediated by increased blood pressure and superficial blood flow as well as diet. Our study elucidates how geometric morphometric image analysis serves to quantify the effect of biological factors such as BMI and WHR to facial shape and color, which in turn contributes to social perception.

Usage Notes

Location

Europe