Washington: “Visual diet”, or the images that women see, may be just as critical to their weight preferences as associating certain body types with success, researchers say.Preferences for a particular body size may result from exposure to images of other women, or from learning that a certain body type is associated with aspirational goals such as high status or better health.To test which of these two influences may be more important in directing women’s preferences, Lynda Boothroyd at Durham University with colleagues from Newcastle University, United Kingdom, showed women a series of photographs of women of varying weights in high-end clothing, as well as eating-disordered patients in grey leotards.The participants’ preferences for particular body types were evaluated before and after they saw different combinations of these pictures.The results showed that viewing one type of figure, either smaller or larger, increased women’s preference for that body type, regardless of whether they were depicted as aspirational or not.
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