Entries in Skinny (4)


Karl Lagerfeld Says Models Are ‘Not That Skinny’

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage(LONDON) -- Karl Lagerfeld, the Chanel honcho who called Adele “a little too fat” and complained about “fat mummies” ruining fashion, is at it again. In an interview this week with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, Lagerfeld was asked about the fashion industry’s influence on women’s body image. There was this exchange:

Reporter: “You think it’ll be O.K. for women to be fat in the future?”

Lagerfeld: “Unfortunately, yes.”

Reporter: “But not O.K. now?”

Lagerfeld: “No.”

He then called the subject “ridiculous” and said, “The story with anorexic girls -- nobody works with anorexic girls. That has nothing to do with fashion. People who have that, they have problem with family and things like this. There are less than one percent of anorexic girls, but there are over -- in France, I don’t know about England -- over 30 percent of girls who are big, big, overweight.”

Eating disorders were long ago proven to be complex issues. In terms of the statistics, Lagerfeld actually isn’t that far off, if you apply his numbers to the U.S. Sixty percent of adult women in the U.S. are considered overweight, and just over one-third of those are obese, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the likelihood of an American woman becoming anorexic or bulimic during her lifetime is 0.9 and 1.5 percent, respectively, according to the National Institutes of Health.

But then he went on to say, “The models are skinny but they’re not that skinny. All the new girls are not that skinny. You know, there’s a new evolution.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texas Woman Can't Gain Weight, Bullied Over Looks

Courtesy Lizzie Velasquez(NEW YORK) -- Lizzie Velasquez gets a lot of stares.  The 23-year-old senior at Texas State University stands 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs just 58 pounds.

"I can't gain weight," said Velasquez, describing the rare syndrome that blocks her body from storing fat.  As a result, Velasquez is skin and bones despite eating around the clock.

"My stomach is so small that I can't eat that much," she said.  "So about 30 minutes after eating I'm ready to eat again.  I snack a lot just to keep my energy up."

The cause of Velasquez's syndrome -- so rare that it has no name -- is a mystery. Only two other people are known to have it, and countless genetic tests have turned up nothing.

"She's missing all of her adipose tissue," said Dr. Atul Chopra, a resident in medical genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, describing the layer of cells under the skin that plump up with dietary fat.  "We just don't know why."

Velasquez was born by emergency C-section weighing just less than three pounds -- half of what was expected for the 36-week pregnancy.  And ever since, she's been poked, prodded and stared out by dozens of doctors trying to diagnose and treat her mysterious condition.

"Once I got to about age 13, I kind of got tired of it," said Velasquez, who besides her frail frame and blindness in her right eye is surprisingly healthy.  "I realized I don't really want a cure for this syndrome.  If a doctor found a magic pill or some surgery that would help me gain weight, I wouldn't want it.  All the struggles I've had made me who I am today."

Those struggles have been many.  Velasquez is still bullied because of her gaunt look, but says her elementary school years were the worst.

"I felt like some sort of monster," she said, recalling her first day of kindergarten.  "I never told anyone how bad I was being picked on because I was embarrassed.  When I would take a bath at night, that's when I would cry."
Every September, Velasquez's dad, Lupe -- a teacher at her school -- would stand up in front of her class and say, "This is Lizzie.  She's just like you guys, she just looks a little different," Velasquez said.  "It was a huge help."

Now, Velasquez is using her victory over bullying to inspire others.  On top of a full course load, she's penned two books and delivered motivational speeches to young students across Texas.  She also made an "It Gets Better" YouTube video with nearly 2.5 million views.

"I tell everyone, 'Even though you don't have my syndrome, you might be able to relate to the struggles I've had,'" she said, explaining how talking about bullying is therapeutic for her, too.  "It's kind of the grown-up version of my dad coming to class."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japan Concerned by Rate of Underweight Female Population

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- Americans may be battling the bulge, but the Japanese are struggling to expand their waistlines.

The Health Ministry said the number of young, skinny women has risen to troubling levels.  A record 29 percent of those in their 20s are underweight, according to a recent government survey.  Those with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 percent are considered underweight by Japanese standards.

“The women are not at risk of health problems yet, but we are making it a goal to bring the number down to 20 percent in the next decade,” Yoko Saito, at the Health Ministry’s Movement to Improve National Health, told ABC News.

The ministry has yet to come up with a plan to reduce the number of underweight citizens, but Saito said the government now treats diminishing waistlines as a national health problem, and worries that the problem could affect fertility rates. Japan already has one of the lowest birthrates in the world.

And while young women have become too skinny, Japanese men have moved to the opposite side of the spectrum.  Nearly 40 percent  of men in their 40s and 50s are considered overweight (their BMI is greater than 25 percent, about 20 percent higher than women the same age).

Weight gains prompted the government to impose waistline standards four years ago. Companies and local governments are now required to measure the waistlines of men and women between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of their annual health checkup.

Employees who exceed the standard -- 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women -- are asked to undergo counseling.  If they still fail to slim down, their companies face government fines.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Leptin Could Help Revert Amenorrhea in Pre-Menopausal Women

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- The hormone leptin may be effective in treating women who have stopped menstruating due to a lack of fat, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Amenorrhea can affect pre-menopausal women who don't have enough fat, such as long-distance runners, gymnasts and those with eating disorders.  As a result, these women can experience infertility and bone loss due to abnormal hormone levels.

But researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found that replacing leptin, a hormone usually made by cells that store fat, could revert the loss of periods.

In the study, 20 amenorrheic women between the ages of 18 and 35 were either given a synthetic form of leptin or a placebo for 36 weeks.  Out of 10 women who received the hormone, seven of them began menstruating and four of the seven were found to be ovulating.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio