The expanding waistline of the modern woman hides a multitude of health risks, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
We are always striving for bigger and better. Skyscrapers are taller, food now comes as super-sized and it seems our bodies are also reaching new limits.
Compared to our 1950s forebears, women are larger in every way. On average, we’re two inches taller, more than a stone heavier and have gone up an average of three shoe sizes. The classic 37-27-39 vital statistics of 1950s woman are considerably smaller than the 40-34-40 of today.
The figures were deduced by comparing a National Sizing Survey from 1951 to a new study of women’s body shapes by The Vitality Show.
This expansion of waistlines has concerned experts. According to the studies, the average woman’s waist has ballooned by more than seven inches since 1951. It seems a combination of processed foods, lack of exercise and stressful lifestyles means British women are piling on the pounds.
‘When we are stressed, the body releases extra energy in the form of fat and glucose to prepare us for the “fight or flight” mechanism,’ says nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville.
‘Unless you do something physical, this is redeposited as fat around the middle of your body. The reason fat targets the middle is because it’s close to the liver, where it can be quickly converted back into energy if needed.’
The study by The Vitality Show also revealed the average waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of today’s woman is 0.83, compared to 0.7 in the 1950s. Doctors say a healthy WHR for women is 0.8.
These extra inches mean that not only have women lost their hourglass figures but they are also risking their health as well as their chances of conceiving.
Dr Tom Brett of LloydsPharmacy.com says: ‘Having extra fat on your abdomen, rather than on your bottom or elsewhere on your body, puts both men and women at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Excessive fat in your abdomen is known as central obesity and it’s partly due to fat accumulating around your internal organs.’
Written by By Amanda Bown
Original article published in Metro: 27/02/2012