These days, fads can spread quickly thanks to social media. Recently, waist trainers have become popular with some young women. The idea is to look thinner and leaner by wearing this corset-like device that “trains” your waist. Unfortunately, waist trainers offer no long-term benefit but carry the potential for real harm.
While you can appear slimmer while wearing a waist trainer, you are merely just pushing that excess weight in temporarily. The fat around your waist will just spring back after your take it off. However, the real harm with waist trainers comes from overuse. By pressuring the midsection of your body so tightly, they can cause real and significant health problems. For instance, waist trainers can make heartburn and indigestion worse, and some women have even passed out from wearing them (due to lack of oxygen). If worn for too long a period, they can even cause internal organs including the diaphragm, stomach, colon, liver and small intestines to shift inside the body. The bones, ligaments and nerves of the spine can also be affected, causing musculoskeletal pain.
“Waist trainers can have real negative side effects for those who use them,” remarked Karen Fleming, a family nurse practitioner at Reliant Medical Group. “These effects aren’t just temporary, in some cases they can be long term and even permanent. So I strongly advise my patients against using them.”
Although the makers of waist trainers and their celebrity endorsers may want you to believe it’s an easy way to achieve a slimmer and firmer stomach, there’s no scientific evidence that their claims are true. So if you really want to spend money to look better, perhaps a gym membership or a new pair of athletic shoes is a better alternative.
About Karen Fleming, NP
A graduate of Framingham State College and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Karen Fleming has been involved in medicine for over 24 years and has been a Nurse Practitioner since 1995. Practicing in the department of Internal Medicine in Auburn, she works with a team of doctors and nurses helping patients with their urgent and chronic healthcare needs. She has enjoyed working in this role for over 12 years. One of the things Karen...View profile View posts by this doctor