- Breasts of Aussie women getting larger
- 40 per cent of women DD or bigger
- Obesity, contraceptive pill to blame
THE bra market is expanding, literally. Up to 40 per cent of Australian women now buy bras with a cup size of DD or higher, new figures from lingerie suppliers show.
In the 1950s, the most common bra-cup size was a B - three sizes less than a DD.
Modern breasts are getting so large that some bra companies have introduced cup sizes as high as K, The Sunday Telegraph reports.
Experts blame the cleavage boost on obesity, contraceptive pills and artificial hormones.
Myer lingerie buyer Kerryn Sawyer said sales of DD-plus bras have grown from about 20 per cent of sales to 28 per cent in just five years.
Many lingerie labels such as Berlei and Triumph are now offering G cups while Fayreform, Freya and Le Mystere are producing select styles up to a size J.
Berlei brand manager Jane Edser said the company's range of bra styles, available in DD-plus, had, increased since 2005 from 75 per cent to 83 per cent, to cater for the growing market.
Bra company Eveden Australia launched a K cup into the market last year. The company's fitting specialist, Victoria Jubb, said obesity contributed significantly to the expanding chest sizes but the number of small-figured women with large breasts was on the increase.
"We're noticing a lot more girls with small backs and bigger bust sizes being fitted," she said.
Eveden's top-selling size is a 10G.
As women's chests have grown, the number of breast reductions have doubled in the past decade, said cosmetic surgeon Mark Goyen.
"There's definitely been an increase," said Dr Goyen, who runs Sydney surgery the Alia Clinic. "I was doing about 10 to 15 female breast reductions a year, now I'm doing 20 to 30.
"There's no question that because the population is bigger their breasts are bigger as well, because it's all fatty tissue.
"As women get older the amount of fatty tissue increases, and also the proportion of fat increases."
Sydney cardiologist Ross Walker said artificial oestrogens found in foods, plastics and cosmetics had also contributed to the growth spurt. Oestrogen in contraceptive pills also spurred the growth of breast tissue, Family Planning NSW research director Edith Weisberg said. "I think the higher-dose pills could, because the oestrogen causes development of the breast tissue," she said.
Larger, more cumbersome breasts often discouraged women from exercising, said body-image expert Jenny O'Dea, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Education and Social Work.
Dr O'Dea said that makes it even harder to lose the weight and can lead to further increases in breast size.
"One thing I find in my body-image research is that girls and women with large breasts tend to avoid sport and physical activity because it becomes a bit bothersome," she said. "They stopped exercising when they developed large breasts, whereas we want big women to do the complete opposite and be as physically active as they can."
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