Times have changed now. So has the concept of body image. The right size today is when you have managed to drop all your curves and fit yourself into a size zero dress. The obsession began with Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham in the US and it filtered down to Kareena Kapoor and Shilpa Shetty in India.
Now it plagues every woman that lives in the shadow of these women who own the silver screen in their ridiculously small dress sizes. When a number of people are trying to wipe malnutrition from the face of the earth, we have young girls chasing it.
Several reports have emerged regarding how teenagers and young adolescent women consume an extremely meager amount of food in order to attain the much-coveted ‘size zero’. Young women are more than happy to skip a meal a day and gladly survive on boiled vegetables with roti or two a day.
What is this size zero?
A size zero figure typically refers to bust, waist and hip size. The standards size zero is 31, 23 and 32 inches respectively. Achieving this size is extremely difficult and it requires unrealistic workout regimes and diets.
Is size zero healthy?
Well, aiming for size zero is far from healthy since it will cause issues related to being underweight and strip the body of the energy it needs to function. Women who deprive themselves of nutritious food do not realize that being underweight has ample of side effects and obliviously aim for a zero size figure.
We have listed some of the side effects caused by a zero size figure:
1. Body fat deficiency
Working towards a zero size figure means eliminating the fat content completely from the body. Cutting out the flabby fat is good, however, our body also needs some good fats to function properly.
Fats play an important role in keeping the body energized and help the body absorb various vitamins like D, K, E, and A since these are fat-soluble. Fats are also important for keeping the body insulated and maintaining the temperature. .
Lack of fat can lead to dry skin and cause mental fatigue. It is important to include omega-3 fatty acids and other monounsaturated fats in the diet to stay healthy and keep the body well-nourished. By trying to achieve a size zero figure, young women not only deprive the body of essential fatty acids, but they also deny the body the nutrition it needs.
2. Eating Disorders:
With young girls trying to imitate fashion models and celebrities who have promoted size zero, they are afraid to eat at all fearing that it may lead to weight gain. If they eat even a little amount of food, they exercise vigorously as if they have eaten a thousand calories. This attitude and practice have given birth to disorders like Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa.
The harmful effects of size zero drew the world’s attention when a few popular models died due to malnutrition. French model Isabelle Caro died in the year 2006 at the age of 28. She was suffering from severe anorexia nervosa.
During the same year, Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died due to anorexia and bulimia nervosa. The year 2006 also saw the death of 22-year-old Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos.
She died of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa while walking at the Fashion Week. The following year, her 18-year-old sister Eliana Ramos also died due to heart attack and it was believed that malnutrition played a role in it.
The death of these models changed how the fashion industry viewed models and their body weight in general and went on to ban models who did not meet the standard BMI (body mass index).
3. Emotional Upheaval:
As mentioned earlier, youngsters who are obsessed with size zero, also suffer from bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Emotions and mental behavior heavily influence these disorders.
Anorexia patients have a mentality that they are fat even though they are just skin and bones which is extremely dangerous and life-threatening. They live in constant fear of weight gain and have a problem eating food. Similarly, bulimia patients eat a large quantity of food and try to get rid of the calories in an unhealthy way to avoid gaining weight.
Patients with these conditions have anxiety and depression, low self-esteem and personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorders. They also tend to have suicidal thoughts and can cause self-injury. These patients also have a history of substance and alcohol abuse.
People who are obsessive to attain size zero usually do not see the signs of anorexia or bulimia since their desire to stay thin overrides any rational thought. If anyone you know is following extreme diets and unrealistic exercise methods, talk to them immediately and bring them under the professional scanner.
Doctors can provide the necessary counseling/treatment. If he/she is in the early stages, imparting sense into them can be managed. Though things have changed when it comes to body weight, slender figures are still considered as the epitome of beauty in many parts of the world.
To live happily and contentedly, it is better to cut off such a toxic environment. While it is good to be fit, running behind size zero is definitely not good.
Eat a well-balanced diet, do regular permissible physical activity and love yourself and your body type. That’s the key to healthy living.
1.What is a zero size figure?
A size zero figure typically refers to the body size of a woman. A bust size of 31 inches, waist size of 23 inches and hip size of 32 inches is generally considered as a size zero figure.
2. What is an ideal BMI?
A body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 is ideal for both men and women.
3.What is Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa?
Both anorexia and bulimia nervosa are eating disorders. When a person suffering from anorexia resorts to eating very meagre amount of food and vigorous exercising, a person fighting bulimia will binge eat and then try to avoid weight gain by resorting to unrealistic fasting methods and exercising. Bulimia patients are also known for purging (vomiting) after binge eating.
4.What are some healthy eating tips to maintain body weight?
In order to maintain the body weight, an average man should consume 2500 calories a day and a woman should consume 2000 calories a day. It is very important to eat a well balanced diet and implement portion control.