The stark reality is that women are putting on more weight
Men around the world might think that they have a reason to celebrate, as the ‘Mail Online’ reports that the average woman is now wearing a 34DD sized bra. This is an astonishing difference, especially when one compares the size of an average woman’s breasts from just over two years ago.
In 2010, the average woman would be opting for a 32B-sized bra, meaning that the average bust has grown by an incredible three times.
Before the men get too carried away with this new information, there is a need to evaluate what exactly is responsible for this new ‘growth’, and unfortunately, it’s not good news. Bouncing busts have forever been a stereotypical feature of a confident woman. But as things stand now, it’s more likely that well-endowed girls are finding extra curves unwanted by both genders.
This, unsurprisingly, is quite a blow to a woman’s self-esteem. Sharon Webb, the head of lingerie at Debenhams said: “Confidence is changing the shape of the nation.”
Generally, when women put on weight, the weight doesn’t accumulate in any specific area, and if a woman sees a sudden increase in the chest, it’s because they’re also seeing increases in other areas of their body too. This includes parts of the body such as the stomach and thighs.
We’re never going to be able to please the society around us, we’re either too skinny, or if we put on a few pounds we are immediately labelled as fat. This pressure for women in today’s working world is a stress in itself; we can never seem to get it right.
The stark reality is that women are putting on more weight. According to a survey carried out by Debenhams’, women are reaching double D and E cups. Sharon Webb talking on this said: “Sales suggest that breasts are bigger than ever before.”
A recently published report in the academic Journal, ‘The Lancet,’ has touched upon worrisome signs ahead. According to research, half of Britain’s population could be obese by 2030. Heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain forms of cancer can be closely linked to weight issues. As obesity rates increase, the ratio of these diseases will also multiply.
In 2009 UK statistics indicated that 33% of women were graded as overweight and 24% of women were said to be obese. Government figures also show that children are more likely to be overweight, if either parent has suffered from obesity. Data showed 17% of girls were overweight, whilst 18% of girls were already obese. [netdoctor]
So, if women in general are becoming larger, there is no doubt that British Asian women are also affected. British Asian women are more prone to gaining weight and have to work twice as hard to shed those extra pounds off.
Cathy Moulton, a care adviser at Diabetes UK, says: “A healthy waist size for all women is 80cm (31.5in) or less.” So, these guidelines should be followed by British Asian women too.
The perception of slim and thin women is now as prevalent in India as it is in the West. However, according to the statistics and general observation in any UK town or city, women do seem to be bigger in size and in particular young women.
So where’s it all going wrong? Women are constantly judged for their appearance and compared to other women; irrespective of many factors which make women different from each other. This results in low self-esteem and stress, which then usually leads to comfort eating and in some cases, indulging in too much alcohol.
Food plays a huge part in South Asian culture. It is customary for food or at least ‘chai’ [tea] and snacks to be served whenever a guest is visiting. South Asians are known to be big foodies, and it doesn’t help matters when subcontinental cuisine in general isn’t particularly the healthiest. We all like to have a binge on unhealthy snacks now and again; however the consequences that we are later faced with aren’t pretty.
There is also the prevalence of fast food culture that makes it far easier to eat out or get takeaways than cook. The availability of fatty pizzas, garlic bread, kebabs, burgers, fries, wedges, and fat rich dishes are all easy within reach of women who are on the go with little time or in fact, cannot or won’t cook.
Nowadays, wrong eating starts during school and college life. Quite often, you see many young British Asian girls sitting in high street pizza and other fast food places at lunch time, primarily, because it is the quick and easy option. All having an impact on their weight later in their lives.
Alcohol is known for adding calories and it is another factor which has been taken up by many British Asian women. With wine and spirits on a night out being part of the enjoyment, it isn’t too long before it can add inches to the waistline.
There is the gene and heredity argument too, which classes women with South Asian roots to have body shapes that do no stay slim for too long and are prone to putting weight on as they get older; unless they really work hard to keep it off.
In the past, women were left in charge of the meals, which were prepared and cooked from scratch. This leads to healthy lifestyles, gaining all the nutrients that were needed to stay fit and remain in good physical shape.
In today’s modern society, there’s a whole notion of women leading strong lives and working equally as hard as men. So, fitting in a healthy lifestyle with family and working life can be tricky. Skipping meals, binging on unhealthy snacks and looking for quick meals are all recipes for disaster.
Of course, the media plays a huge part in how women are perceived and they can sometimes confuse audiences about what a woman’s ideal weight should be. Sometimes classed as too fat or sometimes as too stick thin.
Paying attention to the glamorous world of Bollywood, actresses have also had their fair share of weight issues. One of the most beautiful women in the world and everyone’s idea of perfection, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, has been slated in the media for this very reason. The former Miss World gained weight after giving birth to a baby girl. Dismissing this perception she recently said:
“I was comfortable…if I did think it was a big deal, I would’ve been hiding or done something about it, everything is accessible today. I wasn’t disturbed by it and if people were, I hope they enjoyed the drama because I was busy leading a real life.”
Another highly talked about Bollywood actress is Sonakshi Sinha who lost a massive 30 kg to get in shape for acting. Reports state she weighed an incredible 90 kg in her college days, but then transformed into a healthy 60 kg woman while shooting for her debut film Dabangg  opposite Salman Khan. Now she’s seen as a symbolic curvaceous idol.
Getting the balance right is the real challenge. Going on yo yo diets, not keeping exercise consistent, not drinking enough water, and eating and drinking the wrong things at the wrong time in the day can all contribute to weight gain. Mix that in with your South Asian genes, then you have a tougher challenge than your non-Asian counterparts. With the plethora of food and choices available today it is very important to discipline yourself.
To avoid gaining weight drastically, it’s important to exercise regularly, have a healthy and balanced diet and keep stress levels to a bare minimum – yes, a challenge, but better for your health in the long run.