Journal of Biosocial Science 36 (6):699-707 (2004)

This study investigated the social factors associated with body-shape preferences for females and males as perceived by Arab women living in Qatar, and correlated the current weight status of women studied with these preferences. The subjects were 535 non-pregnant Arab women aged 20–67 years, who attended heath centres in Doha City, the capital of the State of Qatar. Illustrations of male and female body shapes ranging from very thin to very obese using the 9-figure Silhouettes scale were shown to women, and they were asked to select their preferred figure. Body mass index (BMI) was used to determine the weight status of women studied. Age, educational level and employment status were found to be significantly associated with ideal body-shape preference for both males and females, whereas marital status and current weight status had no significant association. In general, the Arab women studied selected a more mid-range of body fatness for males than for females. It is concluded that attention should be given to sociocultural factors, such as body-shape preferences, in any programmes to promote ideal body weight for the public
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DOI 10.1017/s0021932003006412
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