A question that interests me

Riffing off this research:

Tightening one\’s belt in a recession is usually considered prudent, but women may be advised to do the opposite after a study found that in tough times stressed men turn to larger ladies for comfort.

The question revolves around what is \”normal weight\” for women.

While both groups gave broadly similar ratings to slimmer women, the stressed men were also much more likely than men in the control group to find women who were of normal weight or overweight attractive.

I\’m just wondering what \”normal\” and \”overweight\” mean here.

When we\’re talking about the \”epidemic of obesity\” (TM BollocksRUs) then overweight is over 25 on the BMI scale isn\’t it? Which, when we start to consider the weights of the actual population is pretty slim in fact. So, when they say \”normal weight\” for women do they mean this under 25 BMI (or is it 30?) or do they mean the normal weight of actual women in the population?

And what is that normal weight? Size 12 or something?

What I\’m really asking is, underneath this, is whether we\’ve got two different weights being argued as being normal. One when we\’re talking about obesity. And another, rather larger, when we\’re talking about the normal size of women and how they shouldn\’t have to starve themselves just to please men?

Anyone know?

3 thoughts on “A question that interests me”

  1. When doctors tell me that some measurement on me is “normal”, I’ve taken to asking whether they mean normal in the sense of desirable or the sense of commonplace. Their reactions have told me that the thought has never occurred to them.

  2. No idea about ‘normal’ weight, but I remember reading once that a study had shown that men tended to go for larger ladies the hungrier they – the men – were. That is, the same man would pick a different size of lady before and after he had his dinner. Do stressed men skip more meals?

  3. “Normal” in medical parlance means not giving rise to health concerns. dearieme’s doctors are perhaps unsure how best to choose between two wrong options.

    This is the paper Tim is interested in. It seems to be using “normal” and “overweight” in the sense of BMI ranges, but you’d have to follow up the references to be sure.

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