China’s growth in the fashion industry has helped the country’s overall waistline expand at an astonishing rate.
The country’s waistline has more than doubled in the past 25 years, while the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) for women in China has risen from 15.5 to 17.4 percent, according to the Chinese government.
The rise in waist-lengths is due to two factors, according the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics.
First, there’s a growing preference for skinny, thin women, as the country gets richer and more affluent.
Second, the government is trying to promote women’s waistlines by increasing the size of clothing, such as skirts and shorts.
The new waist measurements are an attempt to push back against the obesity epidemic and to help make the country more attractive to young people, according Xinhua News Agency.
The trend is in stark contrast to a similar trend in the United States.
The number of Americans aged 20 to 24 weighing more than 350 pounds has more recently risen to more than 2 million, according a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But, as Chinese women gain popularity, they have been increasingly complaining about their waistlines and how they are judged by others, according Toobin Zhang, a medical researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.
According to the survey, more than 80 percent of Chinese women were dissatisfied with their waist measurements, compared to just 18 percent of women in the U.S.
This dissatisfaction led to a nationwide campaign by Chinese women to make their waist measurement measurements less controversial, Zhang said.