Nation on the March

Nation on the March
Nation on the March

Dec 10, 2009

"Size Zero", "Size Double Zero", "Size Minus Zero" .....!! (Body beautiful-IV)

Today is the turn of thin, skeleton-like bodies, models walking on the ramp looking like a starved cat, film actresses and many imitators, who chant the Size Zero mantra !!

Since the beginning of human kind, we have desired the perfect form. All human beings want to look their best. That means the right weight for your height and bones. From the beginning of time man has strived to attain these perfect forms. From the start man made many statues representing the perfect form of man and woman and some societies worshiped them.

The Romans were known to tickle their throats with feathers after each meal to induce vomiting, thus allowing them to return to gluttonous feasting . The Romans did so to enhance the enjoyment of a wider selection of palatable foods. Call it whatever you want, calorie restriction, bulimia, vanity, anorexia, it is the desire for perfection, for "size zero".

Fundamentals :
* Size 0 is a US measure, which is equivalent to the British size 4, indicating a 32”bust, 22” waist and 33-34” hips ( overwrite 36-24-36 from your memory )

* 22” waist size is that of an average eight-year-old child in Britain

* 18.4 body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared) is that level below which you are underweight for your height according to the World Health Organisation .

* Compare this with 12.5 BMI of Ms. Ana Carolina Reston, the Brazilian model who died of anorexia in 2006. She was about 16 kg below the recommended minimum weight for her height .( Remember : 30 BMI over which you are classified as obese )

Anorexia is a an eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight, distorted body image and an obsessive fear of gaining weight.

Go to this link News: 08-03-2007 to read about "The Truth About Size Zero", a documentary originally screened abroad in March 2007, where Louise Redknapp reveals truth about what is involved in attaining a ‘stick-like thin’ body. By following a crash diet and intense exercise regime, 32-year-old Louise tried to reach a size zero figure in a 30-day experiment in order to expose the dangers of extreme dieting and to hopefully discourage other people from doing it.There is a week-by-week account of what she went through, physically and mentally. She had many side effects and after the experiment she recovered her health with medical assistance.

In her article "Can Calorie Restriction Lengthen Longevity?" Ashley Neglia wrote in March 2009 in " ..... As humans, it's our business in life to stay alive for as long as possible. Each year, millions of dollars are poured into studies aimed at discovering the fountain of youth. The latest fountain du jour? Calorie-restrictive diets.

Several reports, including an ongoing study ..... have shown that calorie restriction can extend the life expectancy of primates, mice and fruit flies. Canto, a 25-year-old rhesus monkey ...., looks and acts like a monkey half his age thanks to being fed a diet that contains 30 percent fewer calories per day than the average rhesus monkey for the past 17 years.

Compared to his balding, arthritic-ridden one-year younger counterpart, Owen, who has been fed a typical rhesus monkey diet, Canto's shiny coat, elastic skin and what researchers describe as a "youthful energetic demeanor" clearly demonstrate the positive effects of a calorie restrictive diet...on rhesus monkeys................... A January 2009 segment on 60 Minutes featured members of the Calorie Restriction Society followers consume only 1,100 to 1,800 calories per day, compared to the 2,000 to 2,500 recommended allowances for adult females and males, respectively. "Hunger is a health signal that [your body] needs to be refueled," says Gans. "These people are taking it too much to an extreme." While CRS members have lowered their blood pressure, reduced body fat and lessened their risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, there's been no solid evidence that a calorie-restrictive diet does indeed lengthen your lifespan. If you're obese or overweight and consuming more than your recommended calorie limit, reducing your calorie intake to lose weight and get healthy is one thing. But according to today's research, if you're already fit and active, slashing daily calorie intake may work against you.

Here's the bottom line: If you're already at a healthy weight, consume a healthful, balanced diet and maintain an active lifestyle, calorie restriction isn't for you. ....."

A report on states " .....Calorie Restriction is an experimental procedure that should be implemented gradually. Reducing caloric intake quickly does not allow the metabolism to adjust to the caloric deficit. Sudden calorie restriction can create major health problems. In particular, persons who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 22 should be very cautious. Calories should be reduced by less than 5% (less than 100 calories) and maintained for at least four weeks before any additional reductions are made. Weight should be monitored daily, and nutrition should be tracked to make sure that the diet provides 100% of all vitamins and minerals, at least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight, and sufficient amounts of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You should not restrict calories further if your BMI is below 19. On the contrary, you may need to increase your caloric intake to maintain your BMI within the normal range (from 18.5 to 24.9). Do not exceed 16% CR since greater restriction can result in loss of structural tissue, including bones and muscles."

Eliana Ramos, left, was found dead in her bedroom. Her sister Luisel, right, suffered a fatal heart attack while leaving the catwalk last August
In Feb 2007, the telegraph (UK) headline screamed " Sister of tragic 'size zero' model found dead". In his report, Martin Beckford wrote : A model has died of suspected malnutrition just months after the death of her elder sister prompted an international debate on underweight "size zero" models.Eliana Ramos, 18, who worked for a prestigious Argentine modelling agency, was found dead in her bedroom.

Six months ago her sister Luisel suffered a fatal heart attack during a catwalk show, having reportedly eaten nothing but lettuce leaves for three months.

Eliana is also said to have had a heart attack, and local media in Uruguay, south America, linked her death to anorexia. A source involved in the investigation into the teenager's death said: "The primary diagnosis is death due to symptoms of malnutrition."

She had joined the fashion industry aged 16 and was due to model in the same show at which her 22-year-old sister collapsed on leaving the catwalk at the Hotel Radisson Victoria Plaza in Montevideo last August.

Judge Roberto Timbal has ordered an autopsy. Local police said the cause of Eliana's death was not yet clear.

But Pancho Dotto, founder of the Dotto modelling agency where she worked, insisted that she did not have an eating disorder. He said: "She ate well, she was very healthy and she played sport. It is absurd that people are speaking about anorexia or bulimia in this case........ It is obvious the sisters' deaths are due to a genetic problem, and not their diet."

The death of Luisel Ramos was followed in November by the death from anorexia of a Brazilian model who lived on apples and tomatoes. Ana Carolina Reston, 21, who had worked for Giorgio Armani, weighed just 36 kgs when she died on the eve of an international photoshoot.

The models' deaths sparked an international debate about the ethics of using models who have "size zero" measurements — a 31.5in bust, a 23in waist and 34in hips. The average waist size of a British eight-year-old is 22in.

Five women were recently barred from the catwalk at Madrid's fashion week for being "excessively skinny". The British Fashion Council, the organiser of London Fashion Week which began on Sunday, refused to ban size zero models but wrote to designers asking them only to use healthy-looking girls.

This week the cross-party trade and industry select committee announced that it is considering whether to investigate the "social responsibility" of the fashion industry. Peter Luff, chairman of the committee, said Ms Ramos's death showed once more the seriousness of the issue.

"It is a wake-up call to the fashion industry — but how many wake-up calls does it need to have before it recognizes the seriousness of the situation it faces? There is clearly the need for further decisive action."

Some readers commented interestingly :

* I fully agree that some of the models shown modelling on the fashion TV programmes look like the walking dead. They have lifeless eyes and yes they must be going through hell just trying to stay on their feet! Something has to be done about this appalling thing.

*I am a healthy 32-23-33 girl and I love my food, eight years ago I had to buy clothes at size 8-10, shoes at size 4. Today, with the same measurements, I have to get a smaller size 6 and size 3 shoes. ..... The industry is creating some smaller sizes to make the fat people who are constantly putting on weight feeling better.

*Fashion in China and Japan has historically crippled the feet of beautiful women.

VOGUE is one of the most leading fashion magazines in the world. Some time back Vogue's editor, Alexandra Shulman, had written a letter to major international fashion houses including Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Prada and Versace.

She  complained that sample sizes sent by designers are now so "minuscule" they force fashion editors to use models with "jutting bones" and "no breasts or hips".

In her letter, Shulman wrote: "Nowadays, I often ask the photographers to retouch to make the models appear larger."

In summary, the conclusions are to be drawn by each  individual for one's own self. Imitation can be fatal. One person's medicine could be poison for another !

Having roamed past the obese and overwight, the skeleton thin and size zero, now, ( did I hear someone say : "thank God" !) , in the next post, I wish conclude the beauty obsession topic with a story that looks like an obsession, an extreme craze !