Bad food guide to sniffing out where we all live


The odour your body gives off depends on where you live, a nutritionist claims.

Regional variations in diet have a big influence on the smell of sweat, so Northerners tend to give off an aroma of rotten eggs and cabbage, says food writer Kevin Gould. People living in Essex are likely to whiff of fish and the Scots smell 'goat-like', he alleges.

Northerners eat 14 per cent more dairy produce than the national average, while the Welsh similarly over indulge.

'This is going to give them a sulphurous smell, a little like rotten eggs or cabbage,' Mr Gould says. 'Matters are not helped by the fact that people in the North eat more curry than they do in the South.'

Essex residents, particularly those living near the coast, eat more fish and shellfish than anyone else in Britain. As for the Scots, they consume very little fresh fruit and vegetables and a great deal of meat and carbohydrate, washed down with copious amounts of alcohol.

The result is a 'strong, savoury smell - have you ever smelled a goat?', Mr Gould says. Londoners are difficult to pin down, since they eat out a lot and consume many different kinds of foods.

To some extent, it should be possible to guess which part of the country people are from by their smell, he says, but admits: 'It depends how close you are willing to get to strangers.' There is also a curious difference related to hair colour.

'Natural blondes tend to smell of amber and musk while brunettes smell of wild pansies,' says Mr Gould, who has written an article on food and body odour for the lifestyle magazine Bare.

He can offer no explanation for this phenomenon, however. The length of time food takes to be digested and the enzymes it contains have a bearing on body odour.

Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is especially good at assisting the digestion of carbohydrates and helps sweeten the sweat. Fruits such as strawberries, mango and peach, or dried apricots and prunes, also improve personal aroma.

Cereals are similarly useful because they help food pass through the body more quickly, Mr Gould says.

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