Body shapers pose serious health risks: Experts

Updated: Aug 19, 2012, 12:59 PM IST

London: Body shaping underwear popular among women to achieve a slimmer look can lead to gastrointestinal problems, nerve damage and even deadly blood clots, experts have warned.

The undergarments help women achieve a smooth, flat stomach but are a serious health risk as they may restrict blood flow. Even teenagers have needed medical treatment after wearing these tight garments, the Daily Express reported.

The problem arises if the body shapers are too tight and restrict blood flow from the pelvic area to the heart and lungs.

"When women wear really tightly configured clothing it can decrease the blood flow. This can lead to blood clots which can travel to the lungs, heart and the brain and even lead to death," Dr Farzaneh Sabi, American obstetrics specialist, was quoted as saying by the paper.

Dr Sabi, who is at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in California, said women should be careful not to choose body shapers that are too small. She said shapewear is not a good substitute for losing weight.

"You are just squeezing the body too much so you are placing either direct pressure on to a nerve or squeezing internal organs," Dr Orly Avitzur, a neurologist and medical adviser to the US Consumer Association, said.