Sunday 21 January 2018

Women who lose weight more attractive than their slim counterparts

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images
Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Richard Alleyne

Women who have lost weight may have more success with men than ladies who have never been fat, new research suggests.

Researchers have found that the stigma of being fat lingers with women long after they have shed the pounds.

But for men this is a positive thing as they see larger women as more friendly, approachable and emotionally stable than their thin counterparts

Women on the other hand - perhaps annoyed by the extra competition - view former overweight girls in a negative light - continuing to see them as undisciplined, emotionally unstable and even unhygienic.

The findings, which were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Istanbul, emerged from a study by a team at the University of Liverpool led by Dr Jason Halford.

Dr Halford presented 106 young men and 96 women with a picture of a young attractive female accompanied by a short biography.

They were all identical except for the past history of weight control.

Roughly half the biographies showed the pictured woman had maintained the same weight all her life, while others said she used to weigh 16 stone and have a dress size of 24.

The participants were then asked to judge the woman on a Fat Phobia Scale, to evaluate what they thought of her.

Women volunteers continued to see the former fat woman in a negative light compared to other females - considering her undisciplined, lazy and unappealing, as well as grouchy and unhygienic.

But men saw her in a positive way considering her to be more friendly, approachable, clever and creative than her constantly thin counterparts.

Dr Halford said: "Some of the men quite liked the fact she had a weight history. They seemed to feel she was more approachable. She is not perfect. She is flawed.

“She is more likely to be friendly. Without the history of weight loss she is more likely to be unfriendly."

He said men also felt she was more creative and more emotionally stable than other women.

He said some men might have view her in a good light because they thought they would have more of a chance.

"One thing that might be interesting is it obese men who think that they might have a chance with her because she was once obese,” he said.

Dr Halford, whose previous studies have shown that partners of fat people suffer discrimination by association, said that some women may not like a newly lithe competitor on the scene.

However, in practical terms the information could be useful for someone applying for a job.

He said: “But the practical implication is would you want to disclose your weight history. Would you want to be honest about it.

“Would this work in a job interview situation with another woman judging that interview.”

"This cocks a snook at the idea that getting slimmer will solve all your problems. Their certainly seems to a taint and seems to be within women."

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