They combined images of most of the contestants between 1921 and 2015 to show how their bodies have evolved.
They then examined how much the bodies have actually changed using the body mass index (BMI), which calculates a person's height to weight ratio. Using that measure, the average winner's BMI is significantly lower than the average American woman.
According to their research, the BMI scores were more in line with the average American woman, and even in same range, in the 1940s and ’50s. Since then, however, the average winner's BMI scores have dipped into the underweight range.
The authors go on to address the potential impact the trend may have on women.
The women who compete in Miss America, as well as other pageants, dedicate a lot of time and effort to maintaining their physique and health.
Still, nearly a third of Miss America winners are considered to be underweight, making their figures almost unattainable for the average American woman.
While the underweight frames of Miss America contestants don't necessarily represent disordered eating and exercise habits within that group, they can perpetuate an unrealistic expectation for the average female's body.
The current winner is Betty Cantrell from Georgia.
BuzzFeed has reached out to the Miss America Pageant for comment.