http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19180983 Stressed men drawn to heavy women By Nick CrumptonBBC NewsDo men seek the comfort of a "motherly" figure when put under pressure? Continue reading the main storyRelated Stories Where are you on the global fat scale? Obese children's hearts in danger British women's waists 'too big' When placed under stressful situations, men rate larger women as more attractive, new research has shown. British researchers found that men exposed to tasks that were designed to put them under pressure preferred a wider range of female body sizes. They conclude that stress can act to alter judgments of potential partners. The work by a team from London and Newcastle is published in the open access journal Plos One. "There's a lot of literature suggesting that our BMI (body mass index) preferences are hard-wired, but that's probably not true," co-author Dr Martin Tovee, from Newcastle University, told BBC News. Continue reading the main story“Start Quote Changing the media, changing your lifestyle, all these things can change what you think is the ideal body size” Martin ToveeNewcastle University Dr Tovee and his colleague, Dr Viren Swami, have previously researched what factors could alter BMI preferences, including publishing a paper in the British Journal of Psychology on the effect of hunger, and the influence of the media. But through this new work they aimed to investigate whether known cross-cultural differences in body size preferences linked to stress were also mirrored in short-term stressful situations.