Scientists have found that working women tend to carry fat around their stomachs, rather than their hips.Dr Marilyn Glenville, an expert in women's health, said: "Our waistlines have ballooned – women are fatter around the middle than ever – and our stressful lifestyles are to blame.
"The reality is that only about 8 per cent of women have a truly hourglass physique."In the past women were more likely to wear boned corsetry to manipulate their weight distribution and this may be why the figures from the 1950s show such a drastically small waist.Experts said this confirmed the previously documented move away from the classic hourglass figure of the 1950s, when a woman's average waist size was 27.5in and her hips 39in, giving a much more curvaceous silhouette.The lifestyles of modern-day working women may be responsible for the decline in the prevalence of the hourglass due to the high stress levels they experience their careers.In reality more than half were apple-shaped, and far fewer had a pear or butternut squash figure than they thought.
The average hip size for all the women polled was 36in, and the average waist size was 30in.Thus, the eye-gaze results demonstrate the important of waist-to-hip ratio, especially when viewing a woman from behind.It’s clear that men prefer a certain ratio, with some other research suggesting some reasons why.“Men rated images with an hourglass shape and a slim waist …as most attractive, irrespective of breast size,” said Dr Dixson, from Victoria University of Wellington."When we are stressed the body releases extra energy in the form of fat and glucose, to prepare us for the "fight or flight" mechanism, but unless you do something physical it is redeposited as fat around the middle of your body.