THE BLOG

Online Dating and Health Habits - What People Judge You on May Surprise You

22/04/2014 14:40 BST | Updated 21/06/2014 10:59 BST

So the joke goes: "How do you know if someone's a vegan? They'll tell you."

Ho ho ho.

However, the good news is, that if you're on a dating site, this is no bad thing: vegan and vegetarian women are more likely to attract attention from men - if they are in America.

Not so in the UK though, where meat-eating habits have no influence on how often men contact women.

However, the largest number of single vegetarian women are in London, so any die-hard carnivorous men might do well to avoid the capital - or accept a limited dating pool in any case. Overall, London-based online daters are the most health-conscious when it comes to diet, with 46 per cent reporting that they have a 'healthy' diet. This contrasts with those from with Hertfordshire, who have the most carefree approach to diet, with 53 per cent claiming to eat 'whatever.'

For women, male vegetarians are fairly unpopular, with women only contacting them 8.7 per cent of the time. The are more even-handed in their approach to men who report eating 'healthily' or 'whatever.'

Healthy eating in general obviously has positive connotations for most men, with women who list their eating habits as such being the most popular, getting contacted 19.4 per cent of the time.

A far bigger influence on your hit rate online is alcohol consumption - and it's not excessive drinking that seems to be the biggest turnoff, according to AYI.com.

Worldwide data tells us that the 'drinking' section is the most important section to fill in.

The absolute worst thing you can say on your profile? That you're a tee-totaller. Total abstinence is like the kiss of death for most online daters.

The most unpopular group on dating sites in the UK are men who never drink - they are the least contacted with a measly hit rate of just 9.8 per cent. They are followed by women who rarely drink, with a slightly more impressive contact rate - 15 per cent of the time.

Want to improve those odds? Then women should state that they drink "socially" - these are the women who get the most attention in the UK, and the most contact.

It's slightly different for men - they get the best shot at being contacted by stating that they drink "occasionally."

This seems to be a cultural affectation: The UK is one of only two countries where ticking the 'drinking on occasion' box will get a better response than the drinking 'socially' or 'often' options. The other is India, where women who claim to drink 'rarely' invite the most conversation.

So which countries invite the big drinkers?

If you're a man who likes to drink often, you're best off in Canada, followed by Ireland. Women who enjoy a tipple will be best served moving to Ireland or Australia.

When it comes to exercise, it seems like moderation is best: the most popular women are the ones say they exercise three to four times a week. Super fit gym bunnies who work out everyday are as unpopular as women who never exercise, or only exercise once or twice a week.

When it comes to men though, the amount of exercise they do has no influence on the amount they are contacted.

Ultimately it would appear that the picture you paint of your lifestyle habits on your online dating profile is a significant factor in inviting contact - or not.

Moderation seems to be key here: with factors that seem extreme or outside the 'norm' being unappealing.

One thing the statistics do seem to prove is that it's not just your picture that counts, with details about drinking and other health factors playing a big part in attracting potential suitors.