In the world of beauty, a small waist size is a hot trend. It's also the ultimate symbol of wealth and success, according to an expert.
"It could certainly be seen as a sign of money. It’s ironic that the poor used to be thin because they couldn’t afford to eat, and the rich were plump. Now, thinness suggests you have the time and the resources to employ a personal trainer, " consultant plastic surgeon Miles Berry at the London Welbeck Hospital, told the Daily Mail.
Maintaining a good waist is not easy and acheiving it requires hard work and help. The Daily Mail reported Jane Ogden, Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Surrey: "A nicely nipped-in waist frequently signifies wealth, success and self-control.
"It isn’t that easy to sustain a toned figure through life, and I think it’s seen as a particularly admirable achievement in women who have had children. For most, it represents both hard work and self denial."
Berry also explained why it's one of the hardest places for women to loose fat from. "The waist changes with the years, and usually for the worse, " Berry explained. Adding, "The core muscles separate at the front of the abdomen to accommodate pregnancy, and this can make the figure look square if they don’t knit together again."
The fat in women's stomachs is different to fat in the rest of the body. "It's harder to lose than the fat on, for example, thighs, and it also explains why women can be a size six but still have a paunch," Miles stated in the report.
So how can you get that perfect waist without going broke?
"There are three muscle groups involved," celebrity personal trainer Cornel Chin told the Daily Mail.
"The transversus abdominis or core mucles, the rectus abdominis or six-pack muscle, and the external and internal obliques at the side," Chin said.
While "these can all be as hard as rocks," he warns, " if you still have layers of fat over them, your waist won’t look honed."
According to the NHS a woman’s waist should not exceed 31.5in.