I was very surprised by this article. I attended high school in Singapore, and at 5’7", 120 lb. I felt HUGE next to the Singaporean women. In Taiwan, do you feel that there has also been a noticeable increase in obesity, and that the women there are more conscious about their bodies and open to “enhancements”?
Beauty Salons Busted for Misleading Ads
Fri Feb 18, 8:18 AM ET Oddly Enough - Reuters
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore regulators are moving to protect the public from a wave of misleading advertisements promoting bigger breasts, fuller lips and other body enhancements in a wealthy nation grappling with rising obesity.
Two breast-enhancement ads were barred from publication this week for failing to make clear that promised results had not been proven by medical studies, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) said Friday.
The crackdown follows a surge in complaints by disappointed women against bust-treatment salons and by men who say some hair-growth centers fail to live up to their promise.
“We have written to the advertisers and the media owners to inform that the ads have to be amended before they can be published,” said ASAS spokeswoman Priscilla Low.
Salons offering quick fixes ranging from slimming, hair growth, hair removal, bigger breasts and fuller lips are mushrooming across Singapore, Asia’s third-wealthiest society after Japan and Hong Kong.
At the same time, Singapore’s collective waistline is bulging with obesity rates rising, a trend some researchers attribute to a gradual shift in diet in the predominantly ethnic-Chinese island toward Western fast foods.
Singapore’s last national health survey in 1998 showed that the proportion of its 4.2 million people listed as overweight had risen in six years from 21 to 24 percent, while those categorized as obese had increased from 5 to 6 percent.
Slimming salons are doing a roaring trade, and advertisements boasting of breast treatments and other beauty quick fixes often fill local newspapers, many offering money-back guarantees or promoting quick and easy “lunchtime therapies.”
A consumer watchdog, the Consumers Association of Singapore, said it had received 60 complaints last year about companies offering bust enhancements, mostly from career women who felt misled by the salons and sought refunds for unsatisfactory results.
There were 102 complaints about hair-growth centers in the same period.
Under new rules that took effect on Jan. 1, “before-and-after” testimonials featuring women boasting of a fuller bustline or previously balding men now sporting a crowning glory of thick hair will be banned unless medically proven.
The advertisement watchdog said the two breast-treatment ads had been spotted in random newspaper checks. Seven other ads, a combination of hair-growth treatment and bust-enhancement promotions, were also being reviewed for failing to feature the disclaimers prominently.
“Under the revised advertising code, ads for bust enhancements and hair-loss treatments must display a disclaimer,” said Low of the ASAS.