Predicting ideal body mass index: What does clothing size have to do with it?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Denise M. Martz Ph.D., Professor and Assistant Chair (Creator)
Rose Mary Webb Ph.D., Associate Professor and Experimental Psychology Concentration Director (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: This study examined demographic and anthropometric variables as predictors of ideal body mass index (BMI) from cross-sectional, archival, self-reported data from the Psychology of Size Survey of 4014 U.S. residents collected in 2007. As hypothesized, ideal BMI can be predicted by a within gender hierarchical multiple regression analysis with the predictor variables of age, number of clothing sizes from ideal size, and current BMI; these variables account for 54.1% of variance in women's ideal BMI and 65.5% of variance in men's ideal BMI. Findings also demonstrated a logarithmic relationship between current BMI and ideal BMI, with increasing variance in ideal BMI for individuals with high current BMIs. These findings evidence the strong role of current body characteristics in the formation of ideals. Understanding how individuals conceptualize body ideals can inform researchers and practitioners alike, as this evidence has important implications related to both medical and psychological health.

Additional Information

Denise M.Martz, Rose Mary Webb, Anna B.Petroff & Amy T.Galloway (2010) "Predicting ideal body mass index: What does clothing size have to do with it?" Body Image volume 8, Issue 2 pp.126-134 Version of Record Available From (
Language: English
Date: 2010
Body image, Health psychology, Gender, Ideal body mass index, Body mass index, Clothing size, Relative size, Weight loss

Email this document to