Aging is inevitable. However, if you want to slow down the process, you should consider having no more than two children, a new report suggests.
Researchers from universities in England recently conducted an experiment, published in the American Journal of Anthropology, to determine the association between reproduction, life span and risk of disease.
To do so, they solicited more than 500 people to examine photographs of middle-aged women. The images were categorized into three sections: those with two to three kids, those with four to five and those with seven to nine.
After examining the results, they found that women with fewer children were seen as younger and healthier than those with more children.
In fact, the lowest scores were given to women with seven to nine children.
Why is that?
“Mechanisms behind the observed variation in facial appearance are not known but higher levels of oxidative stress among women with high parity may explain their faster aging and lower attractiveness in older age,” the authors said in a study.
Childbirth wasn’t the only factor considered. Scientists also factored in gestation, lactation and childcare, which they believe also contribute to higher levels of oxidative stress.
“These results suggest that costs of reproduction might affect women's physical appearance,” they said.
Want to learn more about the study? Take a look here.