In the middle ages women who were overweight were considered the most attractive because it typically showed that they were wealthy and could handle having a number of children (a major priority at that time). Nowadays in the United States, being overweight is often linked with being from a lower socio-economic class because they are unable to afford healthier foods and have to rely on high caloric, nutritionally poor foods. The correlation between health and wealth is fairly obvious and it is not much of stretch to substitute beauty in for health in this situation. It is scary to think of the lengths that people have gone to across the world to fit the definition of beauty. I feel this is more of an issue of perceptions towards women in general though, and until men and women become fairly equal across the board the problem will persist.