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College students' attitudes towards obesity: Fashion, style and garment selection

Catherine Rutherford‐Black PhD (Assistant professor, teach and conduct research in the Department of Textiles and Consumer Sciences at Florida State University)
Jeanne Heitmeyer PhD (Associate professor, teach and conduct research in the Department of Textiles and Consumer Sciences at Florida State University)
Mallory Boylan PhD (Associate professor in the Department of Education, Nutrition, Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management at Texas Tech University)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 1 February 2000

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate students' attitudes towards people of different weights by comparing and contrasting student stereotypes of thin, average, moderately obese and morbidly obese weight individuals, and identify existing prejudices toward the obese and morbidly obese with regards to fashion, style and garment selection. Respondents included 304 college students at a southern university in the USA. Eighty‐seven per cent of the students described their weight as being normal, 10 per cent identified themselves as obese or morbidly obese, and 3 per cent indicated being excessively thin. Results indicated that participants would prefer to seek fashion advice from an average‐weight, as opposed to overweight, person. Ninety‐three per cent of the sample indicated that a thin or average‐weight individual would be more likely to follow fashion as opposed to an obese or morbidly obese person. Thin or average‐weight individuals were perceived to be more flamboyant, having more fashion choices, being more confident with their apparel choices and more willing to pay a high price for their clothing, having an easier time acquiring clothing that fit well, being more able to obtain and desire high‐quality clothing, and also presenting the best overall appearance in their clothing as compared to overweight individuals. The sum or ranking means for the fashion variables of the sample were as follows: thin 24.1, normal 24.4, obese 37.7 and morbidly obese 47.6. (p <0.001).

Keywords

Citation

Rutherford‐Black PhD, C., Heitmeyer PhD, J. and Boylan PhD, M. (2000), "College students' attitudes towards obesity: Fashion, style and garment selection", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 132-139. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb022585

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MCB UP Ltd

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