Size zero, a dangerous trend

The current craze among women to attain size-zero figure by any means has serious medical implications often leading to irreversible infertility.

Never would have anyone imagined that skipping a meal, working out extensively in a gym or taking those could have disastrous results. But studies have revealed that in bid to attain what     is now being referred to as size-zero figure ( extremely slim), women might be courting infertility.

Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, gynaecologist and fertility expert, SCI Healthcare here said, “Size zero is a new dangerous trend, the pursuit of which can lead to several gynaecological problems including infertility. It can lead to hormonal imbalance and problem in conceiving in future.”  

“Last year I had an NRI patient. She had anorexia when she was very young. She became size zero, her periods stopped, she realized something was terribly wrong, she got counseling and then she regained her lost weight but her periods still would not come naturally. She got married and tried to have a baby but in vain. She lost the chance of motherhood in her quest for size zero,” Dr Gour said.
“Girls going for size-zero figure usually suffer from low self-esteem and confidence. Besides that it is balanced diet with proteins and regular exercise,” said Dr Jyoti Sharma, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Umkal Healthcare, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon.

Dr Samir Parikh, HOD, dept. of mental health and behavioural sciences, Max Healthcare says, “Films, ads and media have highlighted the importance of size zero figure so much that young girls feel compelled to attain that figure to look like their idols. But this can lead to severe disorders like depression, anorexia, excessive vomiting and so on.”

Body weight and its constituent components of fat mass and lean tissue, play an important role modulating reproductive development and functioning. Body weight influences the timing of menarche and the capacity to achieve a pregnancy. Extremes in body weight are associated with infertility and a range of adverse outcomes for both mother and baby during and after pregnancy, say these experts.

According to these doctors, whereas under weight is associated with poor fetal growth and elevated pregnancy loss, overweight is more strongly associated with diseases in pregnancy, pregnancy loss and stillbirth and high birth weight.  An emerging area on interest is the role of obesity on fertility, and the intergenerational ‘tracking’ of high maternal body weight into the second and subsequent generations, resulting not only in an increased risk of metabolic disease, but also perturbed reproductive functioning in the offspring.    

The pursuit of size-zero figure can lead to several gynaecological problems including infertility. It can lead to hormonal imbalance.