STILLWATER, Oklahoma - A new study conducted by two professors at OSU has found that the CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly" doesn't just make viewers laugh, it also gives viewers a better self-image

"Mike & Molly" is the first sitcom since "Roseanne" to show an overweight, happy couple.  And although some find fat offensive, over time viewers see past their bodies and fall in love with the characters. And according to the study, viewers,  in turn, aren't as hard on themselves.

Identifying with a less than perfect image is something with which millions of Americans struggle, so a couple of OSU professors tested a group before viewing the show. Students were asked to point out an ideal body type.

"The girls in the class had the slimmest possible figure that they chose. Very waif like. Very thin. As they watched the show it changed and it shifted,"  Dr. Cynthia Nichols said

"It shows people with depth. It is not just your standard white, skinny couple that we are used to seeing. I think it's time to see some diversity on TV," Dr. Bobbi Kae Lewis said.

The professors also point out that the average American woman is a size 12 woman. But on TV they usually are no larger than a 4.  So although Mike and Molly may provide comic relief, it's perhaps a little therapy as well.

For more information on the study email cynthia.nichols@okstate.edu