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Bigger is better, studies say

These days, it seems that you can’t pick up a single magazine without reading a reference to weight loss promising a more attractive body.

Is there any hope for overweight women?

“There is speculation that the number of ‘fat admirers’ is growing,” University of Miami lecturer Dr. Franklin Foote of the psychology department said.

A recent study by researchers in the United Kingdom’s University of Westminster and the University of Newcastle supports the existence of these so called “fat admirers.”

The study found that 47 out of 111 men reported attraction to heavier partners. Their ages ranged from 18-67.

The men rated the attractiveness of ten women pictured in tight leotards varying from emaciated to clinically obese.

Previous studies have shown that “fat admirers” make informed judgments about attractiveness independent of health perceptions and sometimes these men are on the heavier side themselves.

It was no surprise then, that the “fat admirers” in the study preferred the photograph of the heavier woman. The control group rated skinnier women as more attractive.

Surprisingly, though, “fat admirers” also gave higher scores than the control group when rating the emaciated figures.

“This might suggest that the ‘fat admirers’ reject societal standards of preferred weight in general,” Foote said.

October 7, 2009

Reporters

Irene Daboin


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