People who’ve had the habit of putting their belly band on for more than a few years may have become a little tired of it, and might consider swapping them out for something else, a new study suggests.
And the trend may be getting a boost from celebrities like Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, who have started wearing belly bands to raise awareness of obesity.
A growing body of research shows that the waistline is becoming more visible in the popular media, and some celebrities are starting to wear belly rings.
In 2015, the number of celebrities who wore belly bands was the highest since 2005, when the number was first measured, the researchers wrote in the study.
While the trend is growing, many experts are worried about the impact it could have on health.
“There is definitely an issue with health-care workers in terms of how they are perceived, especially when it comes to obesity,” said Katherine Buesseler, director of the Obesity and Health Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
“It’s really hard to get a lot of support from people in this culture when you are not allowed to wear a belt and your health is not taken seriously.”
Bueseler and her colleagues examined trends in waist circumference among people aged 20 to 64 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The study, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that women were the most likely to put on a belly band, while men were more likely to wear one.
The waist-to-hip ratio increased with increasing waist size, with women increasing their waist by 1.6 centimeters and men increasing theirs by 1 centimeter.
But the waist-size-to weight ratio also changed over time.
Women who had a waist-range of 36 inches to 49 inches gained about 2.8 centimeters in waist-height and 2.5 centimeters in hip-height.
Men, on the other hand, gained 2.7 centimeters in weight, while women gained 1.8.
While some people are trying to get their waistlines under control, others may be opting for a belly ring, Buesse said.
“They may be going through a phase where they feel that they need it, they want it, but they don’t want to lose it,” Buesselser said.
The study is the first to examine how many celebrities are wearing belly rings, and how they might influence health.
While there are no data on the health effects of belly bands, the research suggests that the trend could be growing.
In recent years, the belly-to.hip ratio has increased more than 2.0-to 1 for people of both genders, and the trend has been most pronounced among women, according to Bueshees study.
Buesch said she doesn’t know whether belly bands have any health benefits for women.
“Women’s hips are the ones that have the greatest weight, so it might be better to keep your waist down, not put it on,” she said.
Women tend to be more active, and they are also more likely than men to eat out, which may have led to a change in the shape of their waist-lines, the study found.
And although belly bands may seem like a no-brainer for a certain segment of women, there are other factors that could also be influencing waist-hip ratios.
Bodies of the obese are known to have more fat around their belly, which can lead to increased belly-button circumference, the authors wrote.
Body mass index is also a marker of waist-line health, and a waist to hip ratio greater than 45 is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends people wear a size-based band for waist- and hip-to, but the research doesn’t directly address this.
Bursseler said she has heard people say they’d rather not wear a band because of the weight.
“But if you’re just starting out, you might want a band that you can adjust to fit your waist and hip,” she told NBC News.
Some women may be able to get used to the way they look with a belly-band, but others might not, Bursselser added.
“I know it’s a big change, but I don’t know if people are comfortable with it.”