Body Body Confidence, Body Type Body Image, Models Celebrity Fitness Celebrity Weight Loss Celebrity Are Plus-Size Models to Blame for the Obesity Trend?
Forgive us if we're not buying this latest research.Which came first—plus-size models or plus-size people? It may seem obvious to most of us that the increasing use of curvier models in ads and on runways is a direct result of the increased demand for larger clothing, due to a growing number of plus-size women. But results from a head-scratching new studypublished in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketingindicate an opposite chain reaction: The influx of plus-size models is making us obese.

Are Plus-Size Models to Blame for the Obesity Trend?

To look at the relationship between advertising and health behaviors, researchers showed women five different plus-size ad campaigns that glamorize larger bodies and then gave them an all-you-can-eat buffet of snacks. Women who saw the ads not only ate more unhealthy foods, but they also reported thinking more about junk food and less about living a healthy lifestyle. This, the scientists speculate, will lead to weight gain and fuel the obesity crisis. They call the phenomenon "the ironic Dove effect" in reference to the famous Dove #realbeauty campaigns that showcase bodies of all shapes and sizes, showing their skepticism of the effects of body-positive campaigns.
Are Plus-Size Models to Blame for the Obesity Trend?
Are Plus-Size Models to Blame for the Obesity Trend?
"Usage of larger body types increases unhealthy behaviors," wrote study authors Brent McFerran, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Beedie School of Business, and Lily Lin, Ph.D., an assistant professor at California State University.
We're not buying it. While researchers have long argued the flip-side—that too-skinny models can inspire unhealthy behaviors, such as eating disorders—the current study is missing an important point. Thin is still very much the beauty ideal, and heavier body types are not seen as aspirational. Learning to love and accept a body that isn't waif-thin asks women to go outside current trends and requires major courage.
It also seems unlikely that thin women are just chucking their healthy lifestyle out the window after seeing a plus-size ad. Instead, the more-likely effect is these ads are helping plus-sized women to stop hating their bodies. And if there's one thing that traditional ads sell well, it's body shame. One study from Bradley University found that over 70 percent of women reported feeling depressed after seeing more "traditional" ads that use slim models. 
And if it is true? If women see plus-size ads and really do eat more junk food and exercise less as a result, then perhaps it's a failure of a fitness culture that reduces a healthy lifestyle to simply being about weight loss.
The authors conclude that accepting larger bodies is associated with negative health consequences, but you know what else causes weight gain and unhealthy behaviors? Fat shaming.  Laying the blame for the obesity crisis at the feet of plus-sized models (or those who consume their ads) seems overly simplistic at best and cruel at worst.
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Ghulam Haidder

Ghulam Haider is a Pakistani Professional Blogger, Online Entrepreneur, Internet Celebrity, YouTuber and Social Media Activist.

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