A study published this week in the journal Plos One shows men who are psychologically stressed find heavier women attractive.
The study comprised eighty-one heterosexual, white men, aged 18 to 42, who were put into two groups.
The first group took the Trier Social Stress Test, which increased stress levels by asking participants to take on the role of a job applicant in front of a hiring committee.
The second group was sent to a room to wait quietly.
Both groups were then shown images of women with various body mass indexes.
Study participants evaluated the women's attractiveness on a scale of 1 (very unattractive) to 9 (very attractive).
They were then asked to select the woman they found most attractive.
In general, most of the men found the largest woman attractive and the smallest woman, unattractive.
While both groups rated underweight women the same, the men with more stress gave significantly higher ratings to women in the normal and high BMI categories than their calmer counterparts.
The stressed group's preference for the largest woman as attractive was much more pronounced, on average, than the control group's picks.
In assessing the results of the study, the scientists asserted that they have long known that a society's ideal body size is shaped by their access to resources.
Larger women are preferred when there is a threat, like limited food, because their bodies signify the ability to survive in hostile environments.
In today's world, that threat can be as simple as the possibility of unemployment.
Even hunger has an impact on the male mind - previous studies have shown that hungry men find heavier women attractive, according to the study.