Czech women are getting fatter. Their consumption of larger underwear has risen.
„Czech females are buying larger sizes of underwear every year, while the size of underwear bought by men remains the same, the standard one. This data has been provided by the statistics provided by the company trenyrkarna.cz.“ Adam Rožánek, the representative of the company, Trenýrkárna.cz, responsible for statistics, has summarizes the situation as follows: „the sale of female underwear of size “L” (large) has risen by 6 percent in 2016 based on our statistics, while the sale of size “S” has dropped by 3 percent, similarly as in the case of size “M”.
However, it is not only females who keep putting on weight, the whole population is getting bigger, as proved by other statistics and research data. For example the BMI index of inhabitants of the Czech Republic has reached the value of 25,2 based on the data of the Czech Statistical Office. This value is slightly above the high level of normal healthy weight.
Men are more inclined to spend their free time doing physical activity, for example doing sport or fitness. Men spend 3,6 hours on average in sport activities per week, while females spend only 3,2 hours in sports a week … as mentioned by Simona Měřinská from the department for household statistics of the Czech Statistical Office.
Fridrich, Lukáš. “Češky Tloustnou. Kupují Si Stále Větší Spodní Prádlo.” Deník.cz, 16 May 2020, https://www.denik.cz/pro-zeny/spodni-pradlo-cesky-tloustnou2020.html.
 “Czech females are buying larger sizes of underwear every year, while the size of underwear bought by men remains the same, the standard one. This data has been provided by the statistics provided by the company trenyrkarna.cz”
 Nebeská, Pavlína. Vybrat správnou podprsenku je věda. Spodní prádlo potřebuje zvláštní péči. Deník.cz 17. December 2021. URL: Vybrat správnou podprsenku je věda. Spodní prádlo potřebuje zvláštní péči – Deník.cz (denik.cz). Accessed: 10 August 2022.
 The Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic: Health care about patients with eating disorders in the Czech Republic in 2011–2017. URL:
https://www.uzis.cz/sites/default/files/knihovna/ai_2018_08_poruchy_prijmu_potravy_2011az2017.pdf. Accessed: 8 August 2022.
 „Men are more inclined to take part in a physical activity in their free time, for example doing sport or fitness. Men spend 3,6 hours on average doing sport per week, while females spend only 3,2 hours doing sport a week.”
 The unbalanced involvement in unpaid work in the household has been proved by the research conducted in the Czech Republic, for more details: Hornová, Magdalena. Pečuj a vypečeme tě: zpráva o neplacené práci v ČR. Magdalena Hornová. [Vyd. 1.]. Praha: Gender Studies, 2012.
The article published in Czech on-line media “denik.cz”, namely their section devoted to female readers “pro ženy” claims that the bodies of Czech women are bigger based on statistics of one Czech e-shop focused on male and female underwear (trenyrkarna.cz).
There is a mismatch between the meaning of the headline and the body of the article. While the headline focuses on Czech women and their bodies getting bigger, the author admits in the body of the article that it is the whole population that is putting on weight. Furthermore, a mix of reliable and dubious sources has been used. While the statement about increasing sales numbers of higher size female underwear is supported by a non-relevant source (one e-shop), the quotations of Czech Statistical Office have been used to support the statements about the Czech population in general. However, the sources of quotations are not to be verified anymore and the data are not up to date (2016 and 2017).
The article uses false causality, when it comes to the conclusion that the higher sales of bigger sizes of underwear are a cause of women putting on weight. Thus, the whole context of the changes of shopping behavior and market related to female underwear is excluded, which limits the space for alternative explanation for this trend, e.g. women start to prefer their own comfort rather than wearing smaller or/and unfit underwear, or that wider range of sizes is newly available, as more producers have discovered that women of diverse body size are potential customers etc.).
The article has been written with cultural and gender biases, reinforcing the assumption of what size of female body is acceptable as a norm. Any (especially female) bodies not respecting the norm are to be the subject of criticism and shame. This is to be illustrated by the pictures; on the most prominent one, a woman wearing a bra is measuring herself compared to the torso of a mannequin from a shopping window. This approach to signification of female bodies is to be seen as an example of body shaming. Its negative effects are lower self-esteem and eating disorders. There were 3731 people diagnosed with eating disorders in 2017 based on the data of Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic. Exactly 90% of the people diagnosed were identified as women.
Gender biases are demonstrated by the simplified reasoning of why women may have bigger issues with their weight control than men. Based on the explanation presented by the author, the difference is the involvement in sport activities in the case of women and men. The message of the article is thus that women, who can “voluntarily” do sports, are to be blamed for their weight gain. The author is therefore not reflecting the context of gender biases in terms of involvement in care and household chore division, which can have significant impact on the amount of free time based on gender.
ABOUT THE SOURCE:
“Deník” is Czech media, being proudly presented as regional, impartial, trustworthy and useful in the sense of providing practical information and recommendation about lifestyle rather than political situation. “Deník” is part of the VLTAVA LABE MEDIA a. s., which is owned by Penta Investment. Penta Investment is a Cypriot company that was founded in 1999 (or 2005). It is of Slovak origin. Currently the company manages the investment portfolio of the Cypriot holding company Penta Holdings Limited, the portfolio includes media, health services, financial services, real estate, retail and production. However, Penta has been subject to criticism due to its potential connection to the Slovak political scene, e.g. including a political corruption scandal called “Gorilla Scandal”.