Bonnie Says: New Study Claims Plus Sized Models Will Make You Fat!

Thu, April 21, 2011 7:27pm EDT by 16 Comments

If you’re like me and think boney models are unattractive and terrible body role models for women, then you’re in for a supersize surprise

An astounding new study out of the University of Bologna claims that “chubby models” will increase obesity — already a far more prevalent problem here in America than other eating disorders. In other words, fat models are a worse problem than sub zero size  models!

Dr. Davide Dagone and Dr. Laura Savorelli, who authored the study, write that “given that in the U.S. and Europe, people are on average overweight, we conclude (that using larger models) may foster the obesity epidemic.”

They have a point. Statistics in the U.S. reveal that about two -thirds of American adults are overweight!

There has been a HUGE increase in obesity-related medical problems including diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, in recent decades.

Not only that-  the rate of child obesity has tripled to almost 20% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 being overweight. That’s why the First Lady, Michelle Obama, launched her “Let’s Move” campaign to get kids to be more active.

Now, the study’s authors warn that if we accept plus size models as a normal and good thing, we will believe it is OK — even attractive — to be fat. “Health is on average reduced, since people depart even further from their healthy weight.”

The doctors believe that skinny models are actually good for us all since they provide an incentive for us to control our weight.

Hmm! So they’re saying that looking at pin thins actually has a positive effect — we’ll be more likely to turn down dessert!

Well — I don’t think Dr. Dragone and Dr. Savorelli have been to too many recent fashion shows. The runway models are so scarily, unnaturally thin — they actually make you want to rush out and get a sandwich — FOR THEM!

They don’t exactly make you feel so impressed with their beauty and gorgeous bodies that you want to hit the gym and diet to emulate them.

But I get the Italian doctors’ point — that making rolls of fat a body ideal is just as, or even more harmful  to society because it says it’s OK to be obese.

Celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman agrees with the study to a certain extent. “Obese models ‘normalize’ obesity and that can give people the excuse to overeat.”

“There is a degree of political correctness involved in us saying it’s OK to use plus -sized models but I really don’t think all models should be either chubby or a size zero,” she adds. “It’s fine to have models who women can aspire to but not so thin that women feel hopeless looking at them.”

Now here’s what’s really interesting — Dr. Gregg Jantz, an eating disorder specialist, totally disagrees with the study’s findings.

“As as eating disorder expert, I would say the skinnier models provide a worse body image and unrealistic standard. Younger girls are especially subjectable to being influenced by underweight models,” says the founder of APlaceOfHope.com.

He believes size zero models are responsible for an increase in eating disorders in teen girls ages 12 to 14.

Dr. Jantz says we need a mix of models, none of whom have extreme weights, either thin or fat, but who look great at a “normal” weight.

I’m all for that!  The truth is we are an overweight society. We eat too much and exercise too little. That’s why so many celebrities, who look fit and not too thin — from Jennifer Aniston to Jennifer Garner — are the best beauty and body image role models out there.

Agree? What do you think Hollywoodlifers?

–Bonnie Fuller