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Eat Behav. 2009 Aug;10(3):143-5. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.03.004. Epub 2009 Mar 29.

Romantic interest in obese college students.

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  • 1Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0029, USA.


This study compares romantic interest in obese and non-obese students. We surveyed 1217 college students on their demographic characteristics, self-perceptions (self-loathing and drive for thinness), and romantic selectivity. Obese people (especially women) showed strongly negative self-perceptions. Obese people and women were less likely to be selective about the physical traits of their potential partners than nonobese people and men. Obese women preferred overweight (but not obese) partners. Obese men preferred partners in the normal weight range. Results suggest that obesity is associated with predictable alterations in one's romantic attraction to others.

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