The “Good Enough” Body Size as Judged by People of Varying Age and Weight
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
2000 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)
Volume 8, Issue 4, pages 309–316, July 2000
How to Cite
Rand, C. S. W. and Resnick, J. L. (2000), The “Good Enough” Body Size as Judged by People of Varying Age and Weight. Obesity Research, 8: 309–316. doi: 10.1038/oby.2000.37
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Submitted for publication June 24, 1999. Accepted for publication in final form November 04, 1999
- acceptable body size;
- body size discrepancy;
- body size dissatisfaction;
- ideal size
Objective: To examine the concept of the “good enough” body size acceptability across a wide range of ages and weight status.
Research Methods and Procedures: Subjects were 303 children, 427 adolescents, 261 young adults, and 326 middle-age adults who selected acceptable body sizes from an array of drawings representing their own age and gender. They also selected body sizes representing their own actual and ideal size.
Results: A large majority (87%) of subjects considered their own body size socially acceptable. This finding applied to both genders in all age groups and to underweight, normal weight, and overweight subjects. Even among obese subjects, 48% considered their own body size socially acceptable. For the large percentage of subjects who reported a discrepancy between their actual and ideal body sizes, most considered their own body size acceptable. This finding also applied to both genders in all age groups and to underweight, normal weight, and overweight subjects.
Discussion: Most male and female subjects across a wide range of ages and status considered their own body size to be within the range of socially acceptable body sizes even though, for many, it did not match their ideal. The implications of expanding body size research to include the conceptual framework of body size acceptability is discussed in terms of contributing to a paradigm of positive psychology.