Researchers from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, the University of Cologne in Germany and Arizona State University have been looking into the vexed issue of women's weight and self-esteem and the influence of different-sized models. They showed women of a variety of different weights pictures of models of all shapes and sizes and measured their self-esteem before and afterwards. The women of normal weight showed an increase in self-esteem when they saw moderately-thin and extremely-heavy models because they felt similar to the former and dissimilar to the latter. However, they had lower levels of self-esteem when they saw moderately-heavy models and extremely thin ones because they felt similar to the former and dissimilar to the latter. Underweight women's self esteem rose whoever they saw pictures of, whereas overweight women's fell regardless of the size of the model they saw. The overweight participants ate fewer biscuits (cookies) and were more intent on exercise and dieting after they had seen the heavier models.
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