An alarming new social media craze is seeing women adopting extreme an weight-loss diet in a bid to look like Cinderella.
The ‘Cinderella weight’ challenge uses an equation to calculate a goal weight that is deemed ‘underweight’ according to the Body Mass Index (BMI).
The inspiration comes from the Disney princess, who is known for her unrealistically slim waist and body proportions.
Aspiration: Woman want to replicate the unrealistic proportions of Disney princess Cinderella. Pictured, Lily James in the role in the 2015 film version
Worrying: One woman posted this photo saying she was embarking on the weight-loss challenge. An equation calculates the ‘desired’ weight by squaring height in metres and multiplying the figure by 18
Social media craze: Women share posts about their weight loss goals on Twitter
The craze is understood to have started in Japan and has now spread around the world, with teenagers being particularly affected.
Some posted on Twitter about how they were ‘too fat’ while another shared a photo of her already slim legs as she announced she would embark on the diet.
The ‘Cinderella weight’ is calculated by squaring the height in metres and then multiplying this figure by 18 to produce the ‘desired’ weight in kilograms.
For example, if a woman was 1.8m (5ft 9in) tall, her Cinderella weight would be: 1.8 x 1.8 = 3.24; 3.24 x 18 = 58.32.
According to the NHS BMI calculator, a 5ft 9in woman who weighed 58.32kg would have a BMI of 18 – below the ‘normal’ 18-25 range.
Growing trend: The ‘Cinderella’ weight challenge originated in Japan and is now spreading through social media. The top tweet indicates the ‘desired’ weight for different heights. The tweet below shows the weight this woman would like to reach through the diet
Speaking to FEMAIL, nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert warned of the dangers of being clinically ‘underweight’.
She said: ‘Being underweight isn’t good for your health. Weighing too little can contribute to a weakened immune system, fragile bones and feeling tired.
‘According to the NHS, if your BMI is below 18.5, this suggests that your weight may be too low. If you’re underweight, it’s likely that you’re not consuming a healthy, balanced diet, which can lead to you lacking nutrients that your body needs to work properly.
Outrage: Others have urged women not to become caught up in the trend in tweets
‘Calcium, for example, is important for the maintenance of strong and healthy bones. If you don’t get enough calcium, you risk developing osteoporosis (fragile bone disease) in later life.
‘If you’re not consuming enough iron, you may develop anaemia, which can leave you feeling drained and tired.
‘Additionally, our immune system isn’t 100 per cent when you’re underweight, so you’re more likely to catch a cold, the flu or other infections and women who are underweight can find that their periods stop.’