Students help prove horizontal stripes make you fatter
Fashion Design students from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Rochester have helped prove that horizontal stripes do make you look fatter.
The students were enlisted by Val Watham whose experiment to test whether stripes affect people's perception of size won the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year award on Saturday (18 June).
Val, who is 53 and from Reading, said: "Working with UCA has been a great experience - the students have been fantastic. Not only have they made the garments, but they also volunteered to act as models.
"It is wonderful that the judges thought our work and findings were good enough to win. The next step is to see how we can turn our experiment into a proper scientific paper."
Since January, a team of volunteers from UCA have helped make a range of shirts and dresses with the stripes positioned horizontally and vertically. They were then filmed wearing each of the dresses and shirts, plus a plain black alternative.
In April, the videos were taken to the BBC Science tent at Edinburgh Science Festival where the public estimated what size the model is in each of the clips.
To make sure the study was scientifically valid, Val worked with psychologist Dr Peter Thompson from the University of York, who is an expert in visual perception.
Thomas Williams, one of the first year Fashion Design students who volunteered to make the garments, said: "I was really excited at having the opportunity to work with the BBC. It's been a great experience."
Four amateur scientists were shortlisted for the award as part of Radio 4's weekly science programme 'So you Want to Be a Scientist'. They presented their findings at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June where Val was named the winner.
Visit Val's Facebook page for the latest: http://www.facebook.com/BBC.stripes.experiment.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939