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Women Say Fat Doesn't Start Until You're a Size 16

NEW YORK — Women don't consider themselves fat until they start wearing a size 16, according to a Ladies' Home Journal survey of 1,000 women, 68 percent of whom wear a size 14 or lower. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said that they would consider themselves fat if they wore a size 16. Despite that finding, 47 percent of those surveyed were unhappy with their current weight.

The biggest motivator for losing weight was seeing themselves in a photograph, according to 26 percent of respondents. Nineteen percent said trying on clothes in a dressing room was motivating while 15 percent pinpointed putting on a bathing suit. Only 3 percent said that getting into bed with their husbands made them worry about their weight.

Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed have not given up on being their ideal weight, which could explain why despite all the makeover shows on television and the rising popularity of plastic surgery, 77 percent said that they would not get surgery to make themselves thinner even if they could afford it. Hope that they can lose the weight themselves may spring eternal, which health clubs could tap into, especially since 91 percent of those surveyed said that spending time around thin people didn't bother them.

“Clearly, the struggle with weight control and body image continues to be very intense for women,” said Diane Salvatore, editor-in-chief for Ladies' Home Journal. “What's clear from the survey is that for women, weight continues to be not just a health issue, but an emotional one as well, and women feel conflicted about whether to let themselves off the hook or get themselves in shape.”

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