One putative cause of this difference is different cultural norms for attractiveness. Two studies assessed ethnic differences in men's perceptions of the attractiveness of females of varying sizes. In the first, men recruited on the New York subway were shown sets of silhouettes depicting female bodies varying in fatness and were asked to pick the silhouette they found most attractive.
They were also asked to indicate the thinnest and fattest datings for asian men body they would consider dating. In Study 2, "personal advertisements" placed by black, white, Hispanic, and 30 Asian men from 35 newspapers and magazines were coded as: 1 thinness preferred; 2 no information on weight preference; 3 fatness preferred; or 4 states weight or looks unimportant.
Relative to white and Asian men, black and Hispanic men more frequently requested fat women, Hispanic men less frequently requested thin women, and black men more frequently stated that looks or weight did not matter. Thus, it seems unlikely that ethnic differences in men's preferences for women's body shapes contribute substantially to ethnic differences in female adiposity.