An assistant professor at LSU says her conversations with plus-sized teenage girls reinforce the need for an updated and accurate picture of the size of Americans. And new body scanning technology could help.

Laurel Romeo, an assistant professor in the LSU College of Agriculture, conducted interviews with 30 plus-sized pre-teens and teens, ages 12 to 17, and their family members to learn about their shopping experiences, the College of Agriculture reports on its website.

She found in her interviews that many teens find it frustrating to find clothes that fit and often resort to shopping in women’s, maternity and even the men’s section.

That problem can be attibuted to outdating clothes sizing, she said. “The apparel industry is still basing their sizing off of studies done in the 1940s. Industry changes need to take place,” she said.

Romeo also took body scans of the girls to get their precise measurements, which will go into a database Romeo hopes could one day be used for apparel-product development, with the focus on accurate sizes.

Adding to her database are apparel-design students, who use the body scan technology to get quick and accurate body measurements that, input into computer-aided pattern-making software, can lead to garments with a near-perfect fit.

Romeo began collecting data in 2013. The result of her study was published this year in the international Journal of Fashion Marketing and Merchandising.