Italian Women are Thinner than ‘Fatter’ Western World
Reported May 20, 2011
Italian women are the only ones getting thinner despite an obesity epidemic in the Western world according to a new study on Friday that also explores the reason behind the weight loss.
Experts told AFP it’s all thanks to major cultural changes in Italy, a healthy Mediterranean diet and simply paying more attention to waistlines.
The ideal of beauty is “very different from the post-war period if you look at photos of actresses from the 1950s” like Sofia Loren or Gina Lollobrigida, said Maria Rosaria D’Isanto, a nutritional expert in Treviso in northern Italy.
A global study published in British medical journal The Lancet backs her up, finding that the Body Mass Index (BMI) for Italian women has fallen from 25.2 in 1980 to 24.9 in 1990 and 24.8 in 2008, bucking the trend seen elsewhere.
In Britain, the average BMI for women has risen from 24.2 in 1980, to 25.2 in 1990, 26.2 in 2000 and 26.9 in 2008. For US women the increase in BMI has been even more stark — from 25.0 in 1980 to 28.3 in 2008.