Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 201–208 | Cite as

Big and Beautiful: Attractiveness and Health Ratings of the Female Body by Male “Fat Admirers”

  • Viren Swami
  • Adrian Furnham
Original Paper


This study examined the body weight and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) preferences of “fat admirers” (FAs), that is, individuals who are sexually attracted to heavier partners. Fifty-six heterosexual men involved in the FA community rated a series of line drawings that varied in three levels of body weight and six of WHR for physical attractiveness and health. The results showed significant main effects of body weight and WHR, as well as a significant body weight × WHR interaction for both health ratings. In general, there was a preference for heavyweight figures and high WHRs for ratings of attractiveness and normal-weight figures and mid-ranging WHRs for ratings of health. Limitations of the study and explanations for fat admiration are discussed.


Physical attractiveness Body weight Waist-to-hip ratio Fat admirer 



We are grateful for the critical and insightful comments of the Editor and three anonymous reviewers on an earlier version of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Public HealthUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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