Male students at St Andrews University were asked to rate female faces for attractiveness and health.
The study found that girls with an average weight and build were ranked as being the most attractive and healthy.
Researchers said the findings sent out a strong message to young women who believe being underweight is considered to be attractive.
The research was carried out by a team from the university's Perception Lab, who asked 84 female students a variety of questions on their health, took their blood pressure and photographed them.
The photographs were then shown to a group of male students who were asked to rate them for health, attractiveness and weight.
Professor David Perrett, who supervised the project, said: "In our study, people in the normal weight range were judged healthier and more attractive than under or overweight individuals.
"This sends a strong message to all the girls out there who believe you have to be underweight to be attractive.
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