Flemish breasts have grown two sizes in a generation!

Van De Velde, the manufacturer of the celebrated Marie Jo range of women's bras, is the bearer of good tidings. The manufacturers report that women in northern Belgium have to purchase brassieres that are two sizes bigger than their mums'. That's because the breasts of Flemish women have significantly increased in size over the past two decades.

The news was splashed over the front pages of all the dailies and VRT's current affairs flagship Terzake even reported on a matter close to the heart of many mortals.

Due to popular demand Van De Velde now has to produce bras with a J cup, though C cups still remain the most common in Flanders!

In the 90's of the last century 75B was the most popular size employed by Flemish women. By the naughties - sorry, the noughties - this had ballooned to 80C. Today that's become 85D! That's a 40% increase in only twenty years. Everybody's now wondering: Will this never stop?

Sadly, one of the causes of the increase in the size of Flemish breasts is growing obesity. Prof Rudy van De Broecke of Ghent University says that heavier women produce more insulin, a hormone that can cause a growth of breast tissue.

Better food too plays a role: that affects the hormones that impact on chest development! But bigger breasts are not a blessing for all Flemish women. The increased weight can lead to back problems. Even psychological difficulties have been reported and there is the drag that bigger women often have to struggle to find the right size in their favourite line of clothing. Bigger breasts also increase the risk of cancer.

In the international league table Flemish women come home in fourth position, behind the English, the Dutch and the Danes, who apparently lead the pack.