Shapewear Might Be Affecting Teen Health

The latest teen fashion trend could be taking a toll on their health.
3:59 | 08/02/12

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Transcript for Shapewear Might Be Affecting Teen Health
NOW, TO A SURPRISING FASHION TREND AMONG YOUNG TEENS. SHAPEWEAR. THEY WEAR IT FOR THE SAME REASONS THEIR MOMS DO, TO FLATTER THEIR FIGURE. BUT COULD IT BE TAKING A TOLL ON THEIR HEALTH? HERE'S ABC'S BIANNA GOLODRYGA. Reporter: WHAT DO KIM KARDASHIAN, AND OPRAH WINFREY HAVE IN COMMON? THEY ADMITTED TO WEARING SPANX UNDER ITEMS LIKE PRADA. THE UNDERGARMENTS ARE MUST-HAVE ITEMS FOR MILLIONS OF WOMEN, HOPING TO LOOK MORE SVELTE. NOW, THE KIND OF SHAPEWEAR PRODUCTS THAT WERE MADE WITH GROWN WOMEN IN MIND, ARE ATTRACTING A MUCH YOUNGER AUDIENCE, TEENAGERS. THEY HAVE IT FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL, HIGH SCHOOL AND THROUGHOUT COLLEGE. Reporter: TURNS OUT MILEY CYRUS AND TEENS AS YOUNG AS 13 ARE TURNING TO SPANX AND SPANX-LIKE PRODUCTS TO MAKE THEIR WAIST LOOK SMALLER, THEIR BODIES SLIMMER. YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BRA. AND YOU HAVE THE SPANX. EVERYONE WEARS THEM. Reporter: WE SAT DOWN WITH GIRLS, AGES 13 TO 17, ALLAH CROSS PLAYERS FROM NEW YORK. THE GIRLS ARE AMONG A GROWING NUMBER OF TEENS WHO WEAR TIGHT-FITTING SHORTS THAT WORK LIKE SPANX. THE GIRLS TELL US THEY WEAR THEM EVERYWHERE, ON THE FIELD AND OFF. I WEAR THEM UNDER EVERYTHING. TO SCHOOL, AND TO SPORTS. I WEAR THEM. UNDER JEANS, YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU HAVE A MUFFIN TOP. MUFFIN TOPS ARE BAD BECAUSE -- THEY'RE JUST UNFLATTERING. AND IT MAKES YOU STAND OUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS. Reporter: EVEN THIN GIRLS, THEY TELL US, ARE OBSESSED WITH TIGHT-FITTING SPANX. MORE AND MORE, THE SKINNIER GIRLS THINK THEY'RE BIGGER THAN THEY ARE. Reporter: JILL OF "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK" FAME SAYS SHE'S NOT SURPRISED OF THE GROWING INTEREST OF TEENS AND SHAPEWEAR. HER DAUGHTER, ALLEY, STARTED WEARING SHAPEWEAR AT AGE 13. NOBODY WANTS TO SEE BODY PARTS RIPPLING. IT'S NOT ATTRACTIVE. Reporter: JILL INVITED ME INTO HER SHOWROOM, TO SEE THE SHAPEWEAR SHE DESIGNED WITH TEENAGERS IN MIND. IT'S CALLED SKWEEZ. IT IS SELLING LIKE WILDFIRE. Reporter: I HAVE BEEN WEARING IT SINCE I WAS 13. I'LL PROBABLY WEAR IT UNTIL I'M 63. AND IT'S AS NECESSARY. Reporter: BUT THE GROWING TREND WORRIES THIS MEDICAL ADVISER FOR "CONSUMER REPORTS." YOU ARE SQUEEZING THE BODY TOO MUCH. YOU ARE PLACING PRESSURE ON A NERVE OR SQUEEZING INTERNAL ORGANS. Reporter: SHE HAS TREATED 13-YEAR-OLDS FOR SHAPEWEAR PROBLEMS. AND CHILD PSYCHIATRISTS SAY TEENAGERS OBSESSED WITH CREATING THE ILLUSION OF A FLAT STOMACH IS SETTING THEMSELVES FOR A HOST OF PROBLEMS. YOU ARE NEVER SATISFIED WITH YOUR BODY. Reporter: THEIR ARGUMENT IS THAT IT'S BEING HELPED, NOT HURT. IT NORMALIZES THE GIRLS' BODY FIGURES AND EVENS EVERYBODY OUT. Reporter: IF THEY FEEL TOO TIGHT, TEENS SHOULD TRY A LOOSER STYLE OR SHOULDN'T WEAR IT AT ALL. BUT THAT'S EASIER SAID THAN DONE, ACCORDING TO THESE TEENS, WHO SAY MOST WOULD RATHER BE UNCOMFORTABLE THAN APPEAR FAT. IT DOESN'T MATTER FOR NOW. JUST LOOK GOOD. AND THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS THE MOST RIGHT NOW. Reporter: FOR "GOOD MORNING AMERICA," BIANNA GOLODRYGA, ABC NEWS, NEW YORK. WE DID REACH OUT TO SPANX FOR COMMENT. THEY SAID THIS. OUR MISSION IS TO HELP WOMEN FEEL GREAT ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THEIR POTENTIAL. AND REGARDING THE MEDICAL ISSUES FOR TEENS USING THEIR PRODUCTS, THEY SAID, IN 12 YEARS OF SELLING SHAPEWEAR, WE NEVER HAD THIS ISSUE.

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