Recently a study surfaced about plus-size clothing being blamed for increase in obesity across the world. Researchers said that the increased availability of plus-size clothing could be fueling increase in obesity by normalizing ‘plus-size’ body shapes.
Plus-size clothing retailers across the UK and the world have been providing something that plus-size women and men around the world have been longing for ages – latest fashion trends in plus-sizes thereby giving them confidence about their body shapes and sizes. However, reports and studies have been indicating that increase availability of plus-size clothing, and advertisements of such clothes using models is undermining efforts to tackle England’s ever-growing obesity problem.
According to an academic at the University of East Anglia, while launch of plus-size clothing ranges may help promote body positivity, there could be a possible unintentional negative consequence that may prevent recognition of the health risks of being overweight.
Researchers examined the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics associated with underestimation of weight status to reveal social inequalities in patterns of weight misperception. Analysis of data from almost 23,460 people who are overweight or obese revealed that weight misperception has increased in England. Men and individuals with lower levels of education and income are more likely to underestimate their weight status and consequently less likely to try to lose weight.
A study back in 2017 on the other hand had a completely different verdict. A study by Florida State University researchers reveals women are more likely to pay attention to and remember average and plus-size models in the media compared to thin models.
Researchers recruited 49 college-age women, all of whom indicated they wanted to be thinner, and showed them various images of thin, average and plus-size fashion models on a TV screen. The project recorded participants’ psychophysiological responses — the interaction between the mind and the body — as the women viewed the images.
When thin models were on screen, research participants made more comparisons, paid less attention and remembered less about the models. Participants also came away from the experiment with less body satisfaction, which can diminish psychological health.
But when average and plus-size models were on screen, research participants made fewer comparisons, paid more attention and remembered more about those models. Participants also reported higher levels of body satisfaction.