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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 21:03 GMT 22:03 UK
TV makes men 'hunkier'
Michael Parkinson and Mel Gibson (BBC)
TV pictures give men a stronger jawline
Television makes men look hunkier and women chunkier, according to psychologists.

Apparently it is all down to how the camera accentuates different parts of the body.

Two researchers at the University of Liverpool, UK, asked students to analyse 2D and 3D photographs of models that had been taken at the same time.

The vast majority said the models looked 5% fatter when snapped in 2D. Quirks in the way we perceive images seem to favour men.

The necks of both men and women appear thicker in 2D images, lead researcher Dr Bernard Harper told New Scientist magazine.

Broadband solution

The effect in women was to make them look fatter, he said. But in men, it gave the illusion of a stronger jawline, judged more attractive.

It is common wisdom that TV cameras make people look fatter than they really are.

Some say that most people look about 4 kilograms heavier on television.

The British Medical Association has warned that female TV stars often diet to make themselves appear slimmer on screen and end up too thin.

Dr Harper says one solution is to use a broadband internet system to deliver 3D pictures that give more accurate visual cues.

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