Clothing retailers are making their label measurements slightly bigger, so that customers feel they're fitting into a smaller dress-size.
The practice is being called 'vanity sizing', and it gives women a false sense self-confidence about their size.
According to Michael Moore from the Public Health Association of Australia, vanity sizing is a dangerous marketing tool.More stories from Today Tonight
“The industry has a simple motive, and that is profit.
“When we've got this strange sizing of clothes, and the changing size of clothes, to meet a different expectation, then people find that overweight is actually 'normalised'."
For Moore, the danger in this lies in the fact that we can "wind up with a significant increase of chronic diseases - that's diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and so on.”
According to the Federal Government's Measure Up campaign, aimed at tackling overweight adults, women with a waistline of more than 80 centimetres are at increased risk of developing chronic diseases.
Yet women with a waistline of 85 to 89 centimetres can fit into what many regard as a healthy size 12 dress.
According to Jo Kellock, Chief Executive of the Textile and Fashion Industries, “we know that practice goes on in the industry, we don't condone it. We have issues particularly with our younger females that are a bit more vulnerable. Data must be collected now to establish a national dress size standard.“It's important for the sector, and the health of the sector, that we have this consistency, and we make it easier for the customer to find the clothes that fit and flatter.”
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