Women with better looking partners suffer eating disorders

Research from Florida State University shows wives who crash-diet to slim down are often driven to do so if they feel their husband is better-looking than them

Dangers of a hot husband: Women with attractive partners suffer bad self esteem and are more likely to develop an eating disorder, study claims

Most girls dream of that handsome stranger who will come in and sweep them off their feet, but if new studies are to be believed, it may not be that good an idea.

But new research from Florida State University has found another factor that could be a driving force behind someone's body image - the attractiveness of their romantic partner.

The research by Florida State University found out that wives who crash-diet to slim down are mostly driven to do so because they feel that their better-halves are better looking than them.

That extra motivation also didn't extend to men, who cared little about dieting regardless of their wive's attractiveness or their own.

"The results reveal that having a physically attractive husband may have negative consequences for wives, especially if those wives are not particularly attractive", Reynolds said.

According to Reynolds, understanding how women's relationships affect their dietary decisions and reasons behind unhealthy eating habits would help them better assist such women.

Each participant completed a lengthy questionnaire focusing in part on their desire to diet or have a thin body.

The couples also bravely agreed to pose for full-body photographs, which strangers rated on both facial attractiveness and body attractiveness.

The researchers found that women evaluated as less attractive were more motivated to diet and be thin if their husbands were attractive.

"The research suggests there might be social factors playing a role in women's disordered eating", Reynolds said.

Past research by the study's co-author, FSU Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr Andrea Meltzer, has determined that marriages tend to be more successful and satisfying when the woman is rated as more attractive than the man.

"One way to help these women is for partners to be very reaffirming, reminding them, 'You're lovely. I love you at any weight or body type,"' Reynolds said.

A new study reveals that women who are less attractive than their husbands obsess about their looks and diet - and work overtime to be thin. The evaluators varied in sex and ethnic makeup. "It might be helpful to identify women at risk of developing more extreme weight loss behaviors, which have been linked to other forms of psychological distress, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and dissatisfaction with life".

Meltzer added: "In order to better understand women's dieting motivations, the findings of this study highlight the value of adopting an approach that focuses on a couple's relationship".

Reynolds added that women tend to overestimate how thin their husbands want them to be.

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